After seeing Seattle’s steps toward reopening and an increase in both vaccinations and open businesses, I have grown excited for these victories and steps toward normalcy. Yet it has also reminded me of the importance of how we respond to COVID-19 and use it as an opportunity to learn how to best bolster our global health-security strategy. The most recent relief package approved by Congress included $4 billion for global vaccine funding, which is an important step in addressing this crisis, but as the needs from the pandemic continue to grow, our response must also.

As our global food system is increasingly strained as a result of this pandemic and hunger levels approach the highest they have been in more than a decade, a further investment in global health security is warranted. As constituents of U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, we must call on them to support at least $20 billion in the next emergency supplemental for the International Affairs Budget to fight COVID-19. Call and email your leaders in support of this necessary protection of global health and security.

Jenna Haines, Seattle