The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN has found that since 2010, spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and for local health departments by 18%. At least 38,000 public health jobs have disappeared, leaving a skeletal workforce for what was once viewed as one of the world’s top public health systems. That has left the nation unprepared to deal with a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million people and killed more than 126,000.
Experts say a bit of extra drinking isn’t a problem for many people, but they recommend watching out for specific behaviors that signal addiction.
KHN Midwest correspondent Cara Anthony spoke with “The 21st” host Brian Mackey about the implications of reopening the U.S. and recent protests.
Darnell Hill, a mental health caseworker, is teaching black teens in St. Louis how to safely walk through the park, run to the store or handle an encounter with the police. Beyond tangible skills, he offers comfort and a semblance of control to those for whom birding, running or walking down the street hold the risk of racial violence.
Check out the revamped video series from KHN — Behind The Byline: How The Story Got Made. Come along as journalists and producers offer an insider’s view of health care coverage that does not quit.
Andre Guest was just fine one day. The next, he was fighting for his life.
Public health officials are confronting growing pressure — and threats — across the country as the backlash to the coronavirus response continues. At least 27 state and local health leaders have resigned, retired or been fired since April across 13 states.
A public hospital in Cleveland has been trying to keep COVID patients out of its beds. It tried a number of innovations for developing better communication — even better relationships — with patients. Officials think this groundwork helped keep the outbreak at bay — and should be the new business model going forward.
As more and more people drift back into their workplaces, they face a very small space that can create a large logjam: the elevator.
This popular resort area gained national attention for a viral video showing Memorial Day partiers disregarding guidelines to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Now, with summer looming and at least one COVID-19 case connected to the gathering, it reflects the difficult balance between safety and tourism.
Since the start of the pandemic, prisoners and their families have contradicted state officials about the conditions inside Indiana prisons. Many inmates report they’ve had no way to protect themselves from close contact with other inmates and staff members. They believe contracting the coronavirus is inevitable.
The overall crime rate has dropped during the pandemic, but unfortunately gun violence has not. In St. Louis, at least 11 children have been killed by gunfire so far this year. Living in neighborhoods with frequent violence has forced some families to improvise ways to keep their children safe, even in the place they are supposed to be most secure: their home. The stress of growing up in these conditions could lead to chronic health problems into adulthood.
Most states ordered dental offices to close except for emergency patient care when the coronavirus hit the U.S. But the shutdown drilled deep into dentists’ finances, and they have been eager to reopen as states have relaxed their closures.
An affluent suburb looked to Iceland’s and South Korea’s widespread testing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The method is pricey, but leaders are convinced it is worthwhile.
After a police shooting in Indianapolis, activists held a protest — but, recognizing the dangers of the coronavirus in a crowd, many worked to make sure demonstrators took proper precautions.
Following a KCUR report, Kansas officials said the state’s public reporting of pandemic trends will count all tests that come back positive for the new coronavirus, even when the patient has no symptoms.
A steady stream of gunshot victims continues to flow into a trauma center on Chicago’s South Side and many other metropolitan trauma centers. This puts a strain on hospitals already busy fighting COVID-19.
In 470,000 American homes spread across every state, washing hands to prevent COVID-19 may not be as easy as turning on a faucet. They don’t have showers or toilets or, in some cases, even water piped into their homes. Nearly a million U.S. homes don’t have complete kitchens and millions more are overcrowded, making it much tougher for people to shelter in place and avoid infection.
At the start of the spring planting season, farmers across the U.S. heartland were already trying to recover from last year’s flooding amid worsening economic conditions when the pandemic struck. Farm bankruptcies and suicides continue to climb. A lack of mental health resources in rural America makes finding help more complicated.
Indiana prisoners said they can’t protect themselves from the virus, as the governor resists calls to reduce overcrowding. “Scared for our lives,” said an inmate.