On September 2, 2021, the White House released its long-awaited pandemic preparedness proposal titled American Pandemic Preparedness: Transforming Our Capabilities.1 Called for by presidential executive order 13987 and National Security Memorandum 1, the proposal, 8 months in the making, comprises a whole-of-government review and update of US national biopreparedness policies.2,3 The pandemic preparedness proposal is ambitious and all-encompassing and acknowledges that the transformation of “our medical defenses” will require “extensive scientific and technological efforts.”1 In this Viewpoint, we review the leading objectives of the pandemic preparedness proposal, discuss the outcome of comparable past federal efforts, and emphasize the imperative of intragovernmental coordination.
The US had a robust pandemic preparedness program.
It was systematically destroyed between 2017 and 2020.
We had outreach epidemiologists in China. They were eliminated.
We had a robust response framework. It was eliminated.
Countries like Korea that responded promptly had far fewer deaths and cases.
The deaths and disability in the USA from Covid were self-inflicted wounds.
Adashi EY, Cohen IG. The Pandemic Preparedness Program: Reimagining Public Health. JAMA. 2022;327(3):219–220. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.23656
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