To the Editor:
It is not surprising that our current governor is floundering in managing the pandemic. His background in health insurance and his affiliation to the Republican Party suggests a vision of a private, profit-making health system. Such a system does not serve the people well.
The lack of a fully functional public health infrastructure is resulting in a disorganized effort of various for-profit entities getting involved in the effort to get the vaccines out to the public. The reliance on ‘start-ups’ to have bright ideas as to how to do this shows a remarkable lack of knowledge about, and perhaps lack of respect for, public health practice and expertise.
The systematic defunding of public health has proceeded as Pentagon funding has ballooned in recent decades, with cuts in funding to other public institutions such as schools, transportation, and housing. Government, also a public institution, has a key role to play, and contrary to pro-profit propaganda, government programs are not less efficient than profit-seeking enterprise.
We must learn from this experience and fund a public health system that will be able to cope effectively with, yes, the next pandemic.
Dorchester People for Peace and Justice