Letter: Government must do much more to address COVID-19

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Now that we have moved from trying to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to this country, it’s time to move to minimize the harm and spread of this emerging zoonotic disease. We must act fast to save lives.

While we can only wash our hands and stay home if we are sick, our government must do much more.

Our president and Congress need to immediately mandate two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers so no one is tempted to go to work sick. Right now, many workers, including restaurant workers who are preparing and serving our food, have no sick leave. These people will go to work sick because they have no choice.

We must have free testing for the virus for everyone and no copays. We can’t stop the spread if sick people with no insurance and high copays have to pay to be tested.

Those 700 vacancies in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention need to be filled immediately and we need to fully fund local public heath now.

Your local health department has only half the staff now as it did when I first started working there 20 years ago. Our public health infrastructure has been on a starvation diet for 35 years. It needs immediate strengthening to do the job of protecting you.

Pandemics and mutations are to be expected and planned for!

Don’t Be Scared. Be Prepared.

Doris Irwin

Mercer County

Funerals for Friday, June 5, 2020

Holstein Jr., Gary - Noon, streaming live, see obituary.

Moore, Anna - 1 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Smith, Dolan - 11 a.m., Jackson County Memory Gardens, Cottageville.

Tanner, Billy - 4 p.m., Odd Fellows Cemetery, Diana.

Wilson, Rosa - Noon, Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.

Young, Dollie - 11 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.