Author Mantra Lotus

Author Mantra Lotus

The American’s story of Mantra Lotus (“Mantra Lotus on finding the blessings of COVID,” November 11) finding a positive way forward after her losses was inspiring. Another blessing of sorts that has come from COVID-19 is a feeling of empathy for others around the world suffering from infectious diseases like measles, rotavirus, and pneumococcal virus.

Even without the effects of COVID-19, 1.5 million children die each year of vaccine-preventable disease because one in five children around the world still lack access to basic vaccines. The current pandemic underscores the need for robust funding for global child vaccine programs through CDC and USAID. Investing in routine immunization, primary health care, and community health workers bolsters a nation’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease.

I urge Representatives Cori Bush and Ann Wagner, along with Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, to tap into the empathy we feel for our losses here in the U.S. to fight diseases around the world. They should fully fund global childhood immunization programs in the federal budget.

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