Target: Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary
Goal: Stop the spread of a deadly new virus before it becomes an epidemic
A recently discovered virus could pose a serious threat to the human population. Very little is known about this infectious, 50% fatal disease, and little is being done to curtail what could become a deadly epidemic. If research funding for the disease is suspended until the virus is spreading more rapidly, it could be too late. Urge Kathleen Sebelius to support US funding for research into this deadly new disease.
As of yet unnamed, the disease has been identified as a coronavirus – a distinction encompassing many diseases. It is most notably similar to the SARS virus, which spread to more than 30 countries and killed 800 people in 2003. So far there have been 15 documented cases of the new coronavirus, 9 of which have proved fatal. The low death toll has kept it under the radar of many world governments, but clusters of diagnoses in Saudi Arabia and the UK have doctors worried that this already contagious disease could evolve to spread more easily.
Unlike the SARS outbreak, researchers have the chance to stop this disease before it claims scores of lives. In the early days of SARS, stalling and a lack of openness by affected countries made containing the virus much tougher. Although no cases have yet been documented in the US, America can help the world avoid widespread affliction by influencing the World Health Organization to pay more attention to the new disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the foremost authority on research into the new coronavirus. As a worldwide program, the WHO is funded by its member countries — each contributing an amount proportionate to the size of its economy. This makes America the WHO’s largest single contributor, and gives the US a lot of sway in what funding gets spent where. Urge the US to funnel more spending into coronavirus research so that this threatening disease can be defeated before it becomes an epidemic.
Dear Kathleen Sebelius,
In the past year, numerous cases of a new and potentially threatening disease have been recorded. With 9 out of the 15 documented cases ending in fatality, this disease could prove disastrous if given the chance to evolve and spread.
Little is known about the disease other than that it is a member of the coronavirus family, and related to the SARS virus that killed 800 people in 2003. Governmental hesitation and lack of communication during the early days of the SARS outbreak are what made the virus so hard to contain, and the same mistake should not be made for the new coronavirus.
The World Health Organization is one of the few centers for research into the new coronavirus. As the single largest contributor to the WHO’s budget, America has the necessary sway to influence funding for coronavirus research. This disease must be curtailed before it becomes a serious threat, and you have the power to make it happen. In the interest of avoiding potential epidemic, I urge you to funnel more US spending into researching the new coronavirus.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via Wikipedia