Thompson says the country is unprepared for another pandemic amid suspicions over the response to Covid-19
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Thompson says the country is unprepared for another pandemic amid suspicions over the response to Covid-19




Former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson says the country is not ready for another pandemic, pointing to widespread suspicion, hatred and confusion surrounding the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking last week at the Newsmakers Luncheon in Milwaukee hosted by WisPolitics and the Milwaukee Press Club, Thompson noted that the origins of the coronavirus are still shrouded in mystery, more than four years after the pandemic began.

Thompson, a Republican, is the state’s longest-serving governor and also served as U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services under former President George W. Bush.

“To deal with a disaster or an epidemic like Covid, you need to have a vast majority of people supporting science,” he said. “And if the science is proven wrong – and in some cases it has been since then – people become suspicious, very suspicious.”

He argued that “there is so much evidence that masks didn’t help at all,” adding that some people wouldn’t wear them again even if officials recommended it – including himself.

“That’s the problem, it’s about suspicion and confusion about whether we will be prepared for the next epidemic,” he said.

Asked about comments former President Donald Trump made while in office that undermined the public health message, Thompson said then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, lied about nursing home pandemic numbers. He argued that “it probably did a lot more than what Trump did” and said Trump was doing what he thought was right.

Thompson said that if another pandemic scenario were to arise, scientists, not elected officials, would be providing the latest health findings and guidance.

“My strong suggestion for the future is that scientists… make it public, make it unbiased and accurate, backed by scientific evidence, and then people will start to believe you,” he said. “And that’s what we need to do in the future.”

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