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As we all have become intimately familiar with a global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has flipped our lives upside down and created egregious consequences for the global economy. Now, more than ever, we must implore our elected officials to invest in a global health response.

The United States has the opportunity to live up to its historic standard of being a beacon of light across the world by allocating additional emergency COVID-19 response funding in the International Affairs Budget. These funds will not only prevent more of the world’s most vulnerable populations from falling into poverty but also will support global health programs. Pandemics have no borders.

Many Americans might view this money as a distraction from domestic issues or frivolous spending, but allocating extra funding into the International Affairs Budget is an investment in the global economy that will pay the United States in dividends.

Here in West Virginia, we have been itching to find opportunities for economic growth as we put the coal era behind us. To create job opportunities for our state, the United States must invest in global poverty relief, because it will create more stable international economic players to bring money to West Virginia.

An “America First” agenda should not mean building a figurative or literal wall around the country, but rather we pull our weight in the international arena so it lifts our people higher.

Madison White