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Watch: Florida Gutted Its Public Health System Ahead of Pandemic

(Lynne Shallcross/KHN illustration; Getty Images)

KHN Midwest editor and correspondent Laura Ungar appeared on Spectrum News Bay News 9 to discuss her recent investigation with The Associated Press on how Florida slashed its local health departments — downsizing staffing from 12,422 full-time equivalent workers in 2010 to 9,125 in 2019 and cutting spending from $57 to $34 per resident over that period. The staffing and funding fell faster and further in the Sunshine State than the nation, leaving Florida especially unprepared for the worst health crisis in a century.

Ungar also spoke on Fox 35 Orlando about the story, explaining how the cuts hampered the state’s ability to respond to the pandemic. Watch here:

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COVID-19 Public Health States