Kudos to Newsweek for reminding us of this:
As U.S. health officials have expressed concern over the insufficient amount of testing and overall unpreparedness in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2009 stimulus bill has gained attention for the removal of funding for pandemic preparations.
Politico senior writer Michael Grunwald posted a tweet Friday that explained Maine Senator Susan Collins successfully argued for the removal of pandemic flu preparation funds from the stimulus package 11 years ago: “I had forgotten my own reporting that Senator Collins stripped $870M for pandemic preparations out of the 2009 stimulus.”
According to Grunwald, then-Senator Joe Lieberman convinced Collins to shift the $870 million over to funding for community health centers instead of removing it outright. However, Collins did vote to fund pandemic flu research in a different bill only four months after the stimulus passed.
Now I recommend reading the whole Newsweek article but this is Susan Collins now:
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins criticized the federal government’s handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak on Friday, characterizing the Trump administration’s messaging as “inconsistent” while saying testing “should be more available than it is.”
The Maine Republican took questions from reporters after meeting leaders from medical groups in Augusta. Collins said she thought President Donald Trump, who has been criticized for incorrectly saying that the coronavirus is no worse than the flu and Americans who want tests can get them, should “step back” from a public response to the virus.
“It is very important that health professionals be out front and that there be a consistent message,” Collins said, suggesting that the president appoint a public health official, such as Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to lead messaging, and that the federal government hold daily briefings.
Luckily we have a terrific candidate in Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D. ME). Let’s really make Collins regret her awful decisions. Click here to donate and get involved with Gideon’s campaign.