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The JAMA Forum
September 1, 2020

The Importance of Reestablishing a Pandemic Preparedness Office at the White House

Author Affiliations
  • 1Project HOPE, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA. 2020;324(9):830-831. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.15525

As the country tries to make sense of all that has happened during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, one idea that should cause little controversy is the importance of health to the security of the US, to its economy, and to the well-being of its citizenry. Given health’s fundamental importance to national security, a disaster preparedness and response unit should be reestablished as part of the National Security Council (NSC) and remain there on a permanent basis. This response unit would be in addition to, not a replacement for, the Office of Pandemics and Emerging Threats. The latter currently resides in the Office of Global Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and should continue to function there in the future.