NDSU Public Health hosts panel to discuss pandemic response

NDSU partnered with the Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth to talk through the economic, social and health issues facing the United States.

FARGO, N.D. — There is a lot that needs to be done to help the U.S. recover after the COVID-19 pandemic.

NDSU Public Health partnered with the Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth to talk through these issues with a team of experts.

The three panelists talked about the economic, social and health costs facing the country and how to best balance these concerns.

“When we look at employment and the loss of employment, there is an immediate impact and there is a long-term impact,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington. “The long-term impact is the delaying of health care needs. There is more demand on mental health right now.”

Dr. Lynn Blewett, professor of health policy management at the University of Minnesota was another panelist. She says it has been hard for the country to address these health concerns because of the way our health care system is designed.

“The United States is at a disadvantage when we don’t have universal health insurance coverage and we have such a spread multi-payer system where we don’t have a consistent message,” said Blewett. “We don’t have a consistent message through our health care system and we don’t have a consistent message from the federal government, from the public health perspective. It is very difficult to have a uniform response.”

That is why the experts suggest looking for local solutions, rather than centralized solutions from the federal government.

“It is really in the local leaders and entrepreneurs and your neighbors that signal recovery is on its way,” said Dr. Stefanie Haeffle, senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. “In addition to government action, it is only when that is being implemented and you can see the results of those funds or assistance that you really have the sense that we can recover or rebound.”

The experts say local entrepreneurs know the wants and needs of their specific communities and can address those concerns better than the federal government would be able to.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News