As the U.S. continues to struggle with COVID-19 many people have been focussed on domestic matters and getting America back in order and have forgotten about the rest of the world. This response is only natural, even the airlines always say “the passenger should always fit his or her own oxygen mask on before helping those around you.” However, in this time of crisis, the U.S.’s foreign policy must also be a priority.

The instability caused by COVID-19 has allowed terrorist organizations to increase their control. Already terrorism is on the rise in sub-saharan Africa and the co-chairs of the National Security Advisory Council have warned that COVID-19 has made Syria and elsewhere vulnerable to the spread of ISIS.

Additionally, the economic consequences of COVID-19 in developing countries poses a threat to U.S. exports. Over half of U.S. exports go to developing markets. This means that when people’s livelihoods in developing countries are disrupted or when they have to use all of their resources for medical treatment they are not able to buy U.S. goods. In order to protect U.S. jobs it is integral that our foreign policy addresses the humanitarian and economic needs created and exacerbated by COVID-19.

Thank you to Sen. Susan Collins for being a part of the bipartisan effort in the senate focussing on the U.S.’s global response to COVID-19. I urge my leaders to support $20 billion in the next emergency supplemental to address COVID-19 internationally.

Elissa DeTellis

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