US lacks funds to fight virus but enough to fuel Ukraine war
Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and chief adviser to the White House, recently warned that the more contagious BA. 2 subvariant of Omicron could trigger another COVID-19 wave in the United States.
The US Congress, however, recently passed a bill to cut $15.6 billion in epidemic relief to allocate more "assistance" to Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the decision "heartbreaking", but said "Ukrainians are dying". NBC reporter Jake Sherman responded to her saying, "Americans are dying of COVID-19".
Some White House officials also said that the US government is running out of funds to fight the epidemic and that if Congress does not approve more funding, monoclonal antibody therapies to treat COVID-19 patients will run out of supply by the end of May and booster shots will not be available. That the US has the money to fuel the Russia-Ukraine conflict but not to fight the pandemic is the biggest irony to its self-proclaimed "human rights supremacy" democracy.
In the eyes of some US politicians, political expediency takes precedence over people's lives. Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the US has been supplying ammunition to Ukraine under the guise of "humanitarianism" from which its arms dealers have profited a lot.
The US announced $13.6 billion in "humanitarian aid" to Ukraine, but used more than half of it for military deployment, adding fuel to the fire in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. According to the Associated Press, most of the money has gone to fund US military presence in Eastern Europe and to arm its allies, with little money going directly to the Ukrainian people.
After the pandemic broke out, the US Congress gave the Defense Department $1 billion to fight the epidemic, but most of it was diverted to build military equipment. According to a study by the US Department of Labor, more than $87 billion in emergency unemployment benefits were improperly doled out, with only 23 percent of the $800 billion actually reaching those it was intended to help. That apart, politicians of the two parties continue to bicker over vaccination and mask issues, further dragging down epidemic control efforts.
The pandemic is far from over. The US should face up to its problems, fulfill its due responsibilities, put the lives of its people first, and do something for global epidemic prevention and control.