While this pandemic has no doubt been a challenging and tragic time in our history, we have often had tunnel vision when it has come to where we put our consideration and resources. It is not as if our other problems went away while we turned our attention to fight Covid-19 and we must remember this. While much focus has rightly been redirected to containing this devastating virus, this is not our only battle.

Globally the deaths of mothers and children under five years old have been reduced by almost half in the last 25 years, however, 800 women a day still die of preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Additionally another 17,000 children under 5 years old also die each and every day due to entirely treatable conditions.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2019 would address these issues and work to develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent these unnecessary deaths. This is the third time that this bill has been proposed and though there has been strong bipartisan support in each Congressional cycle in which it has been proposed it has failed to become law. With only a few weeks left in the calendar year we need Congress to act now.

It is high time that we recall that we have other battles to fight and preventing completely avoidable deaths should absolutely top the list. Now that a vaccine has began to roll out maybe we will start to remember this.

Julian Bryant

Portland

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