In our nation, the United States of America, our family is now an integral part of a global pandemic. There is significant doubt of what we will face today, or tomorrow. Yet with that doubt, there is also hope — hope for our nation to take the mantle of leadership again, as the global leader of the world, with a nonpartisan coordination and effort towards a public policy that would allow for a safer move towards re-opening our country.
Our family has given over 11 generations of blood, sweat and tears to make this great nation. It is our hope, and intention, to help save it for the generations that follow. The experience of our elders spans various arenas of public service, including physical and mental health and safety, education, the arts, private enterprise, social justice, environmental equity, faith-based fundraising, private sector research, development and operations. We collectively agree that in order to better secure our future, there must be a massive increase in testing, tracing and treatment to win this war against the threat of COVID-19. Testing must include all who are at risk, health providers currently in contact with test sites and triage or treatment areas, and those with no present risk or symptoms who desire the test. The implementation must provide an equitable allocation of testing. Included in this testing protocol must be a mandated follow-up for all positive or inconclusive results.
In the USA, COVID-19 deaths surpassed 40,000 in the second week of April 2020 and unemployment has caused a domestic collapsing workforce. A concentrated multibillion-dollar investment dedicated to valid tests could yield a cleared work group who could return to work in the early phase of re-opening, while identifying infected persons who could be isolated and treated. The effort to clear appropriate tests with valid immunity serology could be done within a few weeks, if we applied the same type of dedication that we committed during World War II and the 1969 Moon exploration.
Although our family history is concentrated in South Carolina and still has a presence there, we are represented throughout the country, including the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, California, Colorado, Illinois, the capitol, Washington, D.C. and Lyon, France. As are other families and individuals throughout this country, we are adhering to guidelines and surviving. The availability of testing for all, and proper tracing procedures, would not only help preserve our nation’s families, but those of the world, without the chaos we currently face.
Our prayers and tremendous gratitude go out to those on the front lines, battling this virus for the health and safety of all of our families.
William W. Funderburk, M.D., F.A.C.S. (ret.) and Marilyn Funderburk , Washington, D.C.
Louilyn Funderburk Hargett, Ed.D , Claremont, California
Hester Hargett-Aupetit , Studio City, California; Lyon, France
Driani Massey Harris , Colombia, South Carolina
William W. Funderburk, Jr. , Los Angeles, California