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Simon Harris, Minister of Health, Ireland
The news that Ireland is nationalizing its healthcare system for the duration of the coronavirus crisis inspired observers including Rep. Ilhan Omar to call for the same approach in the U.S. as the world's largest economy faces the disease.
'For the duration of this crisis the State will take control of all private hospital facilities and manage all of the resources for the common benefit of all of our people,' Ireland's Health Minister Simon Harris announced Tuesday. 'There can be no room for public versus private when it comes to pandemic. We must of course have equality of treatment, patients with this virus will be treated for free, and they'll be treated as part of a single, national hospital service.'
The move follows a decision by Spain on March 16 to do the same to that country's system and represents a 'massive change' in Ireland's social safety net.