The Devastating Impact of Donald Trump on Healthcare in the U.S.

The Devastating Impact of Donald Trump on Healthcare in the U.S.
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In a new report, the Lancet Commission reveals that Donald Trump's presidency had devastating effects on every aspect of health in the U.S.


This is the first comprehensive review that assesses the damage inflicted by former President Trump. As per the findings of this report, his policy failures resulted in 461,000 unnecessary deaths in the U.S. even before the COVID-19 pandemic and tens of thousands of unnecessary COVID-19 and pollution-related deaths, all attributed to him.


Nearly 40% of deaths from COVID-19 could have been avoided in the U.S., and with the right policy measures, death rates in the U.S. could have equivalent to other nations such as Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. 


Trump's rollbacks of environmental protection led to nearly 22,000 more deaths in 2019. He also withdrew from the World Health Organization (WHO) and defunded the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Both these bodies were critical for pandemic response, and he completely undermined their efforts and the role they could have played in helping the U.S. combat the pandemic more effectively.


As per the findings of this report, Donald Trump's policy failures resulted in 461,000 unnecessary deaths in the U.S. even before the COVID-19 pandemic and tens of thousands of unnecessary COVID-19 and pollution-related deaths


According to the report, Trump exploited low-and middle-income white people's anger over declining life prospects and incited racial bias and xenophobia. His policies were particularly harmful to people of colour, and he continued to undermine civil rights enforcement and promoted policies that were repressive. He also implemented housing and medical care policies that encouraged segregation. Mortality rates from COVID-19 among people of colour are 1.2 to 3.6 times higher than for white people. Opioid deaths increased in 40 out of 50 states during the pandemic, with the fastest increase among middle-aged Black men.


Trump's actions added 2.3 million to the 28 million residents in the U.S. who were uninsured when he took office. Most of the coverage losses were in minority communities and among children.


According to the Lancet Commission that conducted this assessment, Trump even contributed towards the acceleration of global warming by encouraging fossil fuel combustion and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. States that Trump won in both 2016 and 2020 show the greatest increase in pollution and deaths from environmental and occupational causes.


Overall, Trump's disdain for facts, science and compassion caused significant harm to a healthcare system that was already very weak. The U.S. has seen decades of healthcare inequality, privatising and profiteering, and Trump's actions only added more fuel to this fire.


Source: The Lancet

Image Credit: iStock

 

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References:

Woolhandler S et al. (2021) Public policy and health in the Trump era. The Lancet. doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32545-9

Published on : Sun, 14 Feb 2021



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