Yale Epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves doesn’t mince words about the nation’s response to COVID-19, either on Twitter, or in person. He’s been calling for a wholesale overhaul of the nation’s public health infrastructure – which has been failed during the pandemic. In a new piece in The Nation, he calls on President-elect Joe Biden to create a “New Deal” for public health.
But for now, we’re stuck with the system we have, and Gonsalves says it’s falling woefully short in terms of vaccinating the public. Despite Connecticut’s strong national ranking in vaccine distribution, the state has still only vaccinated under 5% of its population.
Gonsalves also takes on local health systems, like the one he works for at Yale, for primary care that’s “shunted off to the periphery of our city” and away from the people who need it the most.
And, he continued his criticism of the Lamont administration for what he calls “abominable” policies regarding COVID in prisons. Gonsalves and other activists have called for more widespread decarceration of inmates to slow the spread of disease. A spokesman for the governor says the state has issued more “discretionary releases” than at any time in a decade, and that the spread of COVID has been nothing like in many other states’ prisons.