Texas was hit with a double dose of disaster in early 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic winter freeze tested the state’s ability to cope with crises. Daniel Sledge believes that by analyzing the response to these events, we can learn a great deal about the intersection of public health and politics on our daily lives.
The political science associate professor is studying how the state and organizations like food banks and homeless shelters reacted to both crises in hopes of bringing much-needed insights that could inform planning and preparation for future disasters.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has represented a massive shock to the American public health system and to our routines,” Dr. Sledge says. “How do these service-providing entities respond when there are already significant public health protocols in place from the COVID-19 pandemic—and now there’s no electricity and multiple bad things are happening at the same time?”
He plans to share his findings with public officials and practitioners.