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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star


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Opinion: Elected officials are failing the nation


Coronavirus cell animations attacking an image of the White House. An arm with a dollar sign gavel acting as the White House fighting back.

The United States government has failed in its prevention methods that are supposed to combat COVID-19. Instead, their primary focus is directed toward preventing any further economic downfall. Local and federal governments need to shift their focus from the economy to providing adequate resources to ensure their citizens’ safety.
One of the most significant indicators that governments are more worried about the economy was exhibited when the New York Federal Reserve decided to inject 1.5 trillion dollars back into the stock markets.
Unironically, this decision came right before a spike in the number of positive coronavirus cases in the U.S., when funding for healthcare was needed the most, especially in New York, who still has the highest total number of reported cases.
Contrary to what politicians believe, the middle class is the source of economic growth. Ignoring them in these times of crisis will only hurt the country further. Yet, despite knowing the novel coronavirus could be life-threatening, there were still arguments over the privatization of tests for the virus.
In 2018, nearly 30 million Americans did not have health insurance at any point of the year. As of last year, Texas saw the highest number of uninsured people in the nation. Due to cost concerns, people all over the country are opting to not get tested for the coronavirus. Depending on the location and business, the price for a test can be covered by employer health plans, Medicare, Medicaid or, if one is uninsured, paid out-of-pocket.
Organizations and health insurers have been trying to make sure that tests are provided at lost costs or for free. Baylor Scott and White opened up a drive-up clinic to provide testing in northern Austin and others have followed.
However, once a person contracts the virus, they may need further medical attention that can rack up bills, especially if that case turns severe. The cost of treatment is truly terrifying and remains unprotected. The White House is considering sending direct aid for treatment to those who are uninsured. The numbers alone should convince them to end the consideration and make it happen.
The historic $2.2 trillion stimulus relief package was signed by President Donald Trump on March 27, in hopes of offering aid to those affected by the virus. However, it is important to note that U.S. Representative Chip Roy, who represents the 21st congressional district of Texas, chose to vote against the bill.
Roy was only one of six Texas representatives that voted against the bill. A bill that would help a state that is currently facing exponential unemployment rates. He later mocked the bill in a tweet saying, “the only thing missing from the #PelosiDeal is free toilet paper for all,” before it was deleted.
The six representatives who voted against the relief bill claim that the opposition of the bill would do “more harm than good,” but it sounds more like they were worried about big business instead of the welfare of their home states.
In a time where society is essentially powerless and looking toward the government for guidance, it is shameful to have that kind of representation.
Different counties in Texas have enacted different versions of their shelter-in-place measures, along with what constitutes essential businesses. However, Governor Greg Abbott refuses to pass a statewide shelter-in-place order to enforce isolation and the virus continues to spread.
Unemployment in the state has gotten so high that the website for unemployment has been overwhelmed and difficult to access. Yet, everyone is still expected to make payments on rent, insurance and medical bills that may come along.
COVID-19 is an unimaginable epidemic that no country was comfortably prepared to manage. However, the effort to act in a timely, effective manner has yet to be seen by elected officials.
A nationwide shelter-in-place order needs to be enacted. Precise order is the only way everyone will grasp the urgency of this situation. A relief package has been approved for the American people, but it might be too little too late, especially in states that are being hit the hardest and that refuse to issue statewide orders, such as Texas.
Our elected officials have failed to help the people amidst a pandemic. They have shown that our system is flawed. If their primary concern continues to revolve around money, they might not have a country to put back together.
– Delilah Alvarado is a journalism senior

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