'We've never funded readiness in public health': Congresswoman warns we're all doomed if we're not prepared
South Korean soldiers wearing protective gear move to spray disinfectant against the spread of the coronavirus at a railway station in Daegu on February 29, 2020. © YONHAP / AFP

If there's one positive to come out of the coronavirus threat, it's the urgency to prioritize public health and healthcare.


In an MSNBC panel discussion Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who previously served as Health and Human Services secretary, explained that the budgets have never adequately funded readiness for pandemics much less public health and healthcare.

"Luckily New York City has a world-class public health system which has had a lot of experience dealing with AIDS and TB and other infectious diseases, and Washington state, which is the epicenter, now also has a very good health system," she said. "We've got to fund them appropriately. The problem here is that we have never funded this country for readiness in public health. We've never put the kind of resources together so we don't have to ad-hock it every time we see a disease and see a new virus."

She explained that there is a new virus on the horizon. It will hit the United States next year, two years, or more, but it is a question of when, not if.

"In the next year or so we're going to see it and unless we're ready for it it's going to just be another ad hoc process," she said.

Watch the warning below: