Politics and the Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Crisis with Congresswoman Donna Shalala

The Common Good hosted Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-FL) for an important conference call conversation on the coronavirus crisis. The longest serving former Secretary of Health and Human Services urged a more vigorous approach to fighting the outbreak. Shalala also offered up specifics on how we must prepare better for future epidemics. 

“This epidemic has shown us what a real leader looks like. From Andrew Cuomo to Jay Inslee, we’ve seen governors and mayors around the US who have been way ahead of the federal government and have really been on top of this issue…I support people that are standing around the President, I know many of them – certainly the heads of all of the major scientific agencies. I think the vice-president is trying to do the right thing. I’ve talked to him myself. But  the president, I just have never seen anything like it and I’d say the same thing if he was a Democrat.”

ABOUT CONGRESSWOMAN DONNA SHALALA

Congresswoman Donna E. Shalala is the longest-serving Secretary of Health and Human Services in U.S. history, having served for eight years under President Bill Clinton. In 2018, she returned to Washington as the Representative for Florida’s 27th District, which includes the city of Miami and surrounding municipalities in Miami-Dade County. In 2007, President George W. Bush hand-picked her to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, tasked with evaluating how wounded service members transition from active duty to civilian life. In 2008, President Bush selected her as the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Congresswoman Shalala has been named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report (2005), received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights (2010), was inducted into the National Woman’s Hall of Fame (2011), and has more than five dozen honorary degrees.

Sidney Blumenthal is an acclaimed journalist and author of many books including A Self-Made Man, Wrestling with His Angel and All the Powers of Earth, the first three volumes in his five-volume biography series The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln that the New York Times book review has called “Magisterial…A vividly written, wide-ranging and often surprising account of the president-to-be.” He is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post and Washington editor and writer for The New Yorker. His books include the bestselling The Clinton Wars, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, and The Permanent Campaign. He was the executive producer of the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side, directed by Alex Gibney, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary of 2007.

John Avlon is senior political analyst and anchor at CNN. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast between 2013 and 2018, during which time the site’s traffic more than doubled to over one million readers a day while winning 17 journalism awards. He is the author of the books Independent Nation, Wingnuts, and Washington’s Farewell as well as co-editor of the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies. Avlon served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for best online column in 2012. He lives with his wife Margaret Hoover, the author of American Individualism, host of PBS’s Firing Line and a CNN contributor, and their two children in New York. He is now working on a book about Lincoln.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s