Pandemics and Polarization: Implications of Partisan Budgeting for Responding to Public Health Emergencies

Author:   Nathan Myers
Publisher:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498568203


Pages:   264
Publication Date:   15 July 2021
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
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Pandemics and Polarization: Implications of Partisan Budgeting for Responding to Public Health Emergencies


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Author:   Nathan Myers
Publisher:   Lexington Books
Imprint:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498568203


ISBN 10:   1498568203
Pages:   264
Publication Date:   15 July 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Unknown
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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Myers provides an eye-opening critique of how dangerously intertwined partisan politics are with responding to epidemics, which has implications for a devastating loss of life in America and worldwide. This book is needed to spark an overdue debate that goes beyond party lines, and address the importance of a stable funding source to ensure swift action in the face of inevitable public health emergencies. --Tara Sklar, University of Arizona For students of public administration and policy who are thinking about the most urgent issues confronting the field today, this book is essential reading. By juxtaposing political polarization with the threat posed by pandemics, Myers' book contributes to the literature on systems failure, and lays out the choices that we ignore at terrible cost.--M. Ernita Joaquin, San Francisco State University Myers (Indiana State Univ.) tackles an enormously important question in this book: how do partisan politics in the US affect funding for response to and mitigation of public health emergencies? This exploration is pursued in detail through eight chapters, each of which concludes with a brief bullet-point summary entitled Key Points from the Chapter. These summaries serve to reinforce the concepts and ideas presented in each chapter. In the central chapters, Myers employs a case study approach to the 2015-16 Zika virus epidemic to formulate his argument and provide evidence for its support. An important aspect of the text is that the focus does not remain on one level of government. Polarization and response are examined at the local, state, and federal levels, thoroughly exposing the complexity of public health emergencies as experienced within the constraints imposed by the US system of federalism, from congressional dysfunction (examined in chapter 3) to how local response to the Zika outbreak was affected by preexisting funding constraints (discussed in chapter 7). This versatile book could be useful to undergraduate and graduate students in courses on political science, public administration, policy studies, public health, emergency management, and in many other fields. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.--CHOICE Myers has written a valuable account of the building of US public health preparedness efforts to respond to epidemics.. He gives a view of flashpoints in the response to SARS, Avian flu, Zika and Ebola. Legislative struggles with waxing and waning budget support. Origins of government efforts around medical countermeasure development, hospital preparedness, and disease surveillance. And in the end, he makes a persuasive argument that preparedness is strongest when the issue is non-partisan, with both parties rowing in the same direction for the health and safety of the public. --Tom Inglesby, Director of the Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Pandemics and Polarization is a valuable contribution to the literature on public health emergency preparedness. Nathan Myers documents how the growing virulence of politics in the United States has converged with the increasing risks posed by emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Myers rightly places politics front and center in his analysis of US responses to public health emergencies such as H1N1 and Ebola. The book provides an extended analysis of the 2016 outbreak of Zika and how the response to that outbreak fell victim to the growing partisanship on Capitol Hill. This book is an important wake-up call to the public health community about the degree to which responding to public health emergencies has been politicized. Neither partisanship nor pathogens can be eradicated; the public health community needs to be better prepared to deal with outbreaks of both and politicians need to better understand the importance of investing in public health to mitigate the impact of future pandemics.--Gregory D. Koblentz, George Mason University


Author Information

Nathan Myers is associate professor of political science and public administration at Indiana State University.

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