America is paying a horrific price for neglecting public health

As our nation grapples with the worst public health threat it has ever faced, we do so with a public health infrastructure that is a shadow of what it once was. Early in the 20th century, public health was part of America’s social contract and was broadly considered by leaders and citizens as a foundational tool to keep us safe. But as the 1918 flu and other epidemics became a distant memory, so, too, did our country’s funding for public health departments. This erosion has accelerated in today’s hyper-partisan, hyper-connected world, in which public health is lionized or demonized based on ideology rather than science. The public health profession is responsible for remarkable advances tha

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