Title

What Federalism Means for the US Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-8-2020

ISSN

2689-0186

Publisher

American Medical Association

Language

en-US

Abstract

The rapid spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across the United States has been met with a decentralized and piecemeal response led primarily by governors, mayors, and local health departments. This disjointed response is no accident. Federalism, or the division of power between a national government and states, is a fundamental feature of US public health authority.1 In this pandemic, US public health federalism assures that the coronavirus response depends on zip code. A global pandemic has no respect for geographic boundaries, laying bare the weaknesses of federalism in the face of a crisis.

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