World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 31 Mar, 2021 00:30 am

Coronavirus pandemic exposes Alabama’s decrepit public health system

Coronavirus pandemic exposes Alabama’s decrepit public health system
There was nothing inevitable about the alarming rates of COVID-19 transmission or death in rural Alabama.

In rural Alabama, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a harsh light on the crumbling foundations of the state’s public health system.This is the direct result of decades of criminal cuts to the public health budget.The Alabama State Department of Public Health (ASDPH) made no arrangements for alternate vaccination sites in the county; instead, it gave 500 vaccines slated for Coosa County to neighboring Tallapoosa County.There is a lot of slack for an underfunded, understaffed public health system to take up.

Alabama Public Health Officer Scott Harris told the Montgomery Advertiser on February 21: “It’s not any one person’s fault… there’s a lot of competing needs out there and there’s never enough resources to go around.” Alabama Department of Public Health has hemorrhaged staff for years.

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