Dumont unveils COVID-19 Response
Updated: Sep 4, 2020
Who CARES when New Hampshire Reps won’t?
Zachary S. Dumont, Candidate for Congress New Hampshire District One
As our world has become more interconnected, leaders around the world have understood that a novel bacterial or viral disease could spread rapidly and lead to a pandemic health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control has regularly planned for and studied the possible outcomes and response plans that would be needed to mitigate such a disastrous and crippling health event. Claiming that the United States was unaware or unprepared for such an event sells our health experts short to provide cover for politicians from both parties who ignored scientific experts.
Since the announcement of a novel coronavirus emerging in the Wuhan region of China in late 2019, Federal leaders have completely bungled the handling of SARS-CoV-2 as well as handicapping State-level responses. While the United States may have been planning for a widespread pandemic, the medical management plans and pandemic level response teams have been starved of resources and funding and forced to operate under outmoded policies that prevented a rapid and proactive response to SARS-CoV-2 infections. Broken government policies caused needless infections and deaths.
New Hampshire, like many other states, has been placed under Stay at Home orders that choose winners and losers. Businesses deemed “non-essential” by the Governor have been closed entirely or given bottom tier consideration and concern, while businesses deemed “essential” by the Governor have been allowed to continue operation. Governor Sununu may be doing his best, but he can’t know what is “essential” for every Granite Stater. In some parts of the state, hospitals were bracing for a surge of COVID-19 cases that would overwhelm their capacity to care for those patients or others. The immediate attention was placed on flattening the infection curve as they waited on the Federal government to move on distributing spare supplies, to avoid the tragedy we saw in Spain and Italy.
In the midst of the healthcare response, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A $2.2 Trillion response plan that, while providing one-time relief to individual Americans (at $1,200/person), also provided $500B in direct to corporation bailouts for organizations including the so-called too big to fail airline industries. Congress quietly and quickly pushed into law a massive bailout that gave $1,200 in one time payments to suffering American in exchange for increasing the national debt by over $6,400 for every man, woman, and child in the country to fund corporate bailouts.
New Hampshire’s congressional representatives sold out the people to support a bill loaded with bailouts for corporations and Federal programs, putting the children and grandchildren of Granite Staters on the hook to pay for their fiscal irresponsibility. Then they had the gall to expect thanks for it, because it came with a one-time $1,200 check. Old party politicians are so eager to “do something” that they will respond to the outbreak of an infectious respiratory disease like SARS-CoV-2 not with increased testing or funding for medical research, but with a $2.2 TRILLION corporate bailout bill with less than 15% of the spending that helps individual Americans. We need a new crop of representatives to represent real Americans, instead of corporate lobbyists or party interests. The CARES Act is the clearest example of why we need an immediate and drastic change in our national dialogue.
As your Representative in Congress, I would support the following policies to prevent a future pandemic level virus from having this level of impact on our great nation,:
Invest in a national pandemic-level response team headed by the Centers for Disease Control
Invest in a policy of civil defense wherein national concerns such as viral and bacterial epidemics could be stopped at the local level, with coordination from State agents and hospital networks
Reduce government systemization that actively prohibits the development of new health technology and/or practices
Encourage hospital networks to reform outdated policies that protect hospital administrators, while handicapping physicians’ ability to treat and care for their patients
Allow Americans the freedom of choice to decide what is best for themselves, their families, and their business
When we are faced with challenges, two voices cry out from the crowds: one begs for mercy from the government while the other begs for autonomy from the government. A passive and mindful system of governance, that promotes the development of science-backed resources and advancements, should be allowed and expected to mitigate the impact of national concern. When we allow the government to overstep its bounds, actively and knowingly restrict natural and guaranteed rights, we put ourselves at the mercy of a dictator.
The Stay at Home restrictions have helped to reduce the possible spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the development of the COVID-19 virus. Even so, we could have and should have supported a non-aggressive attitude and encourage people to adopt social distancing practices voluntarily during this difficult time. When you give people accurate information, they make better choices for themselves and their families.
Nobody wants to spend four weeks at home, but we can all agree that humans are innovative. We've adapted to worse circumstances before and will get through dealing with this virus. If we work together to promote voluntary solutions to resolving the COVID-19 impact, we will create a better outcome for ourselves then comes from the current Congress and the President.