Letter to the editor: Government must continue to help during pandemic
Given the severity of the COVID-19 crisis at home, it can be easy to forget that a pandemic is an inherently global issue. As much pain as the pandemic has caused nationwide and in our local community, this is not the time to turn inward and ignore the impact this virus is having in lower-income countries worldwide, especially since the stability of the international community is in our interest as Vermonters.
COVID-19 presents a significant health risk to people living in communities without access to healthcare and testing, especially in countries already fighting diseases like Tuberculosis and Malaria. The economic fallout from economic closures has also left vulnerable people unemployed and at risk of slipping into extreme poverty, potentially erasing the gains made in global poverty alleviation over the past years.
This isn’t just a matter of morality, but also of economic and national security interests for Vermonters and all Americans. Failure to support struggling communities as they fight COVID-19 could jeopardize future stability and increase global conflict. Even in rural Vermont, our economy is more globalized than we think. Vermont companies sell worldwide, which means allowing millions of people to slip into poverty also sacrifices their future contributions to our economy. Our Congresspeople Sanders, Leahy, and Welch, who have all been strong advocates for international development in the past, can address this need by co-sponsoring the Global Health Security Act.