Covid isn’t the only pandemic affecting people –

It’s easy to forget these days that Covid is not the only contagion ravaging the globe. Second to Covid, communities and families around the world are also still plagued daily by tuberculosis, which has killed and negatively affected people for generations. This is despite the fact that TB is preventable, treatable and curable.

TB is an air-borne disease, just like Covid, so resources and expertise have been reallocated from addressing TB to focus on Covid-19 since the start of the new pandemic, rocketing us backward on the progress we have made on TB over the decades.

TB is a disease of people living in poverty. It exploits and exacerbates poverty and disproportionately hurts the marginalized. Frankly, this is why it so easily falls to the wayside.

But this does not need to continue. We do not need to continue trading off work to fight TB in order to fight Covid. We can do both.

The End TB Now Act (S.3386/H.R.8654) are bipartisan bills directing the United States Agency for International Development to set bold targets to reach and treat the most vulnerable populations for all forms of TB. We have a unique opportunity to set TB control and eradication goals back on track.

This is your chance to take action to ensure those suffering from TB are not forgotten in the wake of Covid. Please call or email Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Rep. Peter Welch and ask them to co-sponsor the End TB Now Act and support its passage this year. Congress must act if we are to save more lives and resume progress on addressing TB as a disease of poverty.

Felicia Bonanno

Essex Junction