There is much discussion about COVID-19 and the implications it has on the U.S. economy, education, and people’s health. One overlooked issue is the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in the pandemic.

TB kills more people worldwide than any other infectious disease. Contracting COVID-19 is extremely dangerous for those already affected by TB. The good news is that TB is curable, treatable and preventable.

I write this letter in support of the Tuberculosis Act (2019). Americans need to be aware of this bill and vote for elected officials who support it. We often get caught up comparing countries’ COVID-19 rates to each other, almost treating it like a competition. In reality, this pandemic affects the entire world and can only be defeated if every country complies with health officials' recommendations and works together. While U.S. COVID-19 rates are higher than other developed countries, it is still crucial that we extend our resources to those affected by TB abroad. According to the Borgen Project’s website, “The End Tuberculosis Now Act significantly refocuses U.S. actions on prevention as part of the cure, addresses virulent drug-resistant strains of TB and provides support for the latest best practices and technologies in the areas of diagnosis and treatment.”

We cannot let this bill slip through the cracks. Please contact your senators and representatives by phone or email and let them know you want The Tuberculosis Act passed. People’s lives depend on it.

Lauren Hartley, Minneapolis