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Amid Coronavirus Outbreak: Warren Lays out Plan to Tackle Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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As world leaders try to contain the spread of the coronavirus through quarantines and travel bans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) laid out a detailed plan to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the future.

On her presidential campaign’s website, Warren details what steps her administration would take to contain and prevent pandemics.

She argues that while the world is dealing with several outbreaks, President Donald Trump has “deprioritized global health security and risked putting us on our heels in a crisis.”

On the domestic front, Warren’s plan calls for increasing funding to hospital and agencies that exist to prevent and contain outbreaks, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) The plan also spends $100 billion to combat the opioid crisis, and to stem the spread of diseases such as Hepatitis C. 

She calls for the implementation of Medicare for All to ensure that “everyone will have high-quality health care they can afford.”

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Warren also lays out steps to fight climate change, noting that in 2016 the Zika virus put more Americans at risk “because changing climates mean the mosquitos that carry it now thrive further and further north.”

To help contain outbreaks on the global scale, Warren calls for the creation of a “Global Health Security Corps,” comprised of international medical professionals who can travel to areas where there is conflict.

“Sometimes outbreaks occur in places experiencing intense conflict. And when health experts cannot enter those regions, outbreaks can grow exponentially.”

Additionally, Warren says she will work with other countries at the United Nations to fight the spread of diseases, “I’ll lead the world in promoting effective multilateral action, including through the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.”

Taking aim at a Trump administration policy in 2017 that banned the CDC from using the words “evidence-based” or “science-based,” Warren says she will ensure her administration releases “factual information.”

“My administration will work with the private sector to promote the distribution of important factual information, to counter misinformation, and to ensure that critical facts are appropriately translated so communities can take the steps needed to stay healthy. “

Warren’s plan also calls for a $100 billion investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund research aimed at treating infectious diseases.

Finally, Warren says that her administration will not “allow labs to generate novel viruses with epidemic or pandemic potential,” and vows to “closely monitor dual-use research biological threats.”

In addition to keeping Americans safe, Warren says her plan will protect the country’s interests and strengthen its alliances.

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“By taking these steps, we will save lives, strengthen our relationships with allies, protect our interests, and help build resilience to outbreaks and pandemics.”

Warren is not the only 2020 presidential contender to lay out a plan to prevent the spread of diseases.

On Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden blasted Trump as the “worst possible person” to handle the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and shared some of his plan, as IJR has previously reported

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