Investigations

Public Health Experts Worry About Boom-Bust Cycle of Support

Congress has poured tens of billions of dollars into public health since last year. While health officials who have juggled bare-bones budgets for years are grateful for the money, they worry it will soon dry up, just as it has after previous crises such as 9/11, SARS and Ebola. Meanwhile, they continue to cope with an exodus from the field amid political pressure and exhaustion that meant 1 in 6 Americans lost their local health department leader.

Lost on the Frontline: Explore the Database

As of Wednesday, the KHN-Guardian project counted 3,607 U.S. health worker deaths in the first year of the pandemic. Today we add 39 profiles, including a hospice chaplain, a nurse who spoke to intubated patients “like they were listening,” and a home health aide who couldn’t afford to stop working. This is the most comprehensive count in the nation as of April 2021, and our interactive database investigates the question: Did they have to die?

Health Officials Worry Nation’s Not Ready for COVID-19 Vaccine

As the nation awaits a vaccine to end the pandemic, local health departments say they lack the staff, money, tools ― and a unified plan ― to distribute, administer and track millions of vaccines, most of which will require two doses. Dozens of doctors, nurses and health officials interviewed by KHN and The Associated Press expressed their concern and frustration over federal shortcomings.