The health and financial damage brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic comes as no surprise to Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, who also is a practicing financial advisor in Jacksonville, Fla. “God, I was right, and I hate that I was,” she said in an interview.

For more than a decade, McClanahan has been tirelessly advocating for public health reforms and funding. She has written about it, spoken with congressional leaders about it and tweeted often about it.

Her stories, which have appeared in various publications, followed reports from the World Health Organization about the 2013 Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that originated in Saudi Arabia.

McClanahan, who has a background in epidemiology and virology, warned in her writings that if there was a pandemic, America would not be prepared. She pointed to the 2013 outbreak as an example and cautioned that there may well be more pandemics to come. Other prominent students of global health care, most notably Bill Gates, have issued similar warnings about what we can expect in what is becoming an increasingly small world.

McClanahan, who went back to school for financial planning after she began her career as an emergency room physician, said the pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for the financial advisory industry. She founded Life Planning Partners in 2004.

The virus, which WHO had warned could be passed between people in close contact, affected mainly countries in the Middle East and some European countries including France and Italy. And while it was fatal, it was not as contagious as SARS and Ebola.

“There are about 1,000 viruses out there that could potentially cause problems. We just don’t know when they are going to cause problems,” she said then.

To hammer home her point about the need for public health care, McClanahan took to Twitter and began to sound alarms via a series of tweets, one of which referred to the coronavirus as “our next black swan.” Another tweet stated: “No one will worry about the stock market, politics or anything else when this nasty coronavirus hits.” And another said: “People should worry about this instead of money and politics, #pandemic.”

On March 21, she tweeted @realDonaldTrump and tagged her series of tweets with the message, “FYI, here are all my #coronavirus tweets from 2013. To say we didn’t know about this is a bald face lie. This and other viruses is why I’ve screamed about public health and community health for a decade now.”

McClanahan said she is furious because public health funding is not a priority in the U.S. She said various presidents made it a priority during their administrations, but over the years it would get cut. It was wiped out when Trump was elected, she said.

“It’s a discretionary item in the budget and it needs to be mandatory funding every year,” she said.

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