The United States is "totally unprepared" to handle the next pandemic, and legislation is needed to address the issues that were not solved during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Deborah Birx, former White House COVID-19 response coordinator, told Newsmax on Tuesday.
"All of the issues that we confronted are issues that we still have today because we haven't fixed them," Birx said on "Wake Up America." "How are we going to ensure that we not only have stuff in the stockpile, but we can make the critical pieces that we need to respond to a pandemic?"
Birx's comments came a day after President Joe Biden told Congress that on May 11, he will end the twin national emergencies for addressing COVID-19 as most of the world has returned closer to normalcy.
However, the American Red Cross says that many countries were not prepared for COVID-19 and remain "dangerously unprepared for future outbreaks."
Also, the World Health Organization said Biden's move to end the emergency status of COVID-19 is premature.
Birx said she's concerned, particularly after the stockpile shortfalls at the beginning of the pandemic, about the availability of supplies.
"How do we make PPE [personal protective equipment]?" she said. "How do we ensure that nurses have gowns and gloves and masks? How about not running out of essential medicines? What have we done to onshore what people in the industry call active pharmaceutical ingredients?"
Further, Birx noted that the U.S. hasn't brought production back from other countries to ensure the supplies of medications for people who have been hospitalized or ensured that there will be enough nurses and doctors for another surge of illness.
All of these factors, Birx said, "need to be put in simple legislation so that America is prepared with what we need to implement a response … look how we almost ran out of pediatric drugs and pediatric beds for just RSV. We're not on a good medical footing."
Birx said the private sector has "amazing solutions" the government needs to embrace.
"There needs to be a public-private partnership between the federal sector and the private sector," she said. "What brought us out of this pandemic and saved the most lives was the private sector. They mobilized. They got us tests, they got us data. They got us on the therapeutics that we needed. They got us vaccines. So what kind of permanent relationships are we creating?"
Birx said Americans should be "outraged" that tools that have been developed in the past three years that have allowed people to return to pre-pandemic life are being lost.
"We need better monoclonal antibodies," she said, adding that while most Americans will not become severely ill from COVID-19, there are still 30 million people in the U.S. who are susceptible to serious illness.
"We have the tools to change that but we need to continue to do the science," Birx said. "We have stopped innovating and producing new products for this virus. The FDA is withdrawing tools because they're no longer effective, and we haven't done anything to replace them."
About NEWSMAX TV:
NEWSMAX is the fastest-growing cable news channel in America!
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.