How might the next presidential administration impact COVID-19 response in the Tri-State?

Local health authorities weigh in
Biden, Harris, Trump and Pence all holding Labor Day events
Posted at 9:35 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 23:42:21-05

CINCINNATI — With each passing day, the Tri-State and the country see a record-breaking number of COVID-19. And, with each passing day, we gain clarity on who might win the race for the presidency.

So how might pandemic response here look in a second Trump administration term, or under a Biden presidency?

Local health experts are already partnering with people across the Tri-State in the fight against COVID-19. Craig Brammer, CEO of the Health Collaborative, oversees Southwest Ohio's designated disaster response entity. He said it will take a mix of national leadership and local enforcement to see a change in COVID-19 numbers.

"We spend a non-trivial amount of time and effort trying to harmonize directives from three state capitals here in Southwest Ohio in the absence of sort of a broader national strategy,” he said.

Brammer says in a perfect world, a national strategy under either President Donald Trump or former vice president Joe Biden would include three things: consistent messaging, uniform data and analytics, and access to personal protective equipment (PPE).

Hamilton County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Steve Feagins agrees, saying while there is progress on vaccine development at the national level, more needs to be done.

"I think we do suffer from the fact that we may hear different pieces of science from the national level, and I think that confuses people,” Feagins said. “It causes us to doubt."

If re-elected, President Donald Trump's second term agenda includes developing a vaccine by the end of 2020 and returning to normal in 2021. Former vice president Joe Biden's aims to make free COVID-19 testing widely available and provide up to 12 weeks paid family and medical leave. Biden has also called for a national mask mandate.

No matter the outcome of the election, Tri-State health leaders like Brammer and Feagins said it's critical to get on the same page, especially as we get deeper into flu season.

"In the case of this pandemic, there's much that we can do uniquely well locally within that broader federal framework,” Brammer said.