Opinion: The government needs to do more to fight COVID globally


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Last week I saw coverage in the North & South Brunswick Sentinel about South Brunswick High School needing to close early due to a COVID-19 outbreak, canceling classes and a mental health resource fair.

While mask mandates are important for mitigating the spread locally, that is not enough to truly end this. We need to stop COVID-19 everywhere to be safe anywhere.

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As a resident of North Brunswick who works in the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, I remember seeing the lines of people extending outside the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Emergency Room at the beginning of this pandemic – parents holding their sick children in the rain just to get them care.

With the threat of new variants looming, until the world is vaccinated I’m worried history will repeat itself. The president’s recently released 2023 budget made bold commitments for public health and investing in a global fund for a pandemic-free future. This is exactly the kind of leadership we need, especially from our senators, who we need to break an impasse.

We see the effects of our government’s incomplete and insufficient COVID response in the newest BA.2 variant wave that is surging around the world, and, as of this week, makes up the majority of new cases in the U.S.

No one is safe until we are all safe. We need Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez to stop holding people’s lives hostage and finally pass an overdue COVID supplemental that includes funding for global vaccination.

Abigail Heller

North Brunswick

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