Six takeaways of the KHN/AP public health investigation

Local and state public health departments in the United States work to ensure that people have healthy water to drink, their restaurants don’t serve contaminated food and outbreaks of infectious diseases don’t spread. Today, during the pandemic, those departments now find themselves at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus. But years of budget and staffing cuts have left them unprepared to face the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by KHN, also known as Kaiser Health News, and The Associated Press examines the scale of the cuts and how the decades-long starvation of public health departments has affected the system meant to protect the nation’s health.