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Why Even Well Prepared Countries Failed the Pandemic Test

Bad Politics Can Undermine Good Public Health

In May 2018, U.S. leaders met at a Washington hotel to discuss their response to a crisis: a malign actor had released a newly engineered virus—a bioterror agent known as “Clade X…

  • Christopher T. Lee and Tom Frieden
  • Foreign Affairs

The United States faced its first global pandemic in a century, and political leaders had to make tough calls while awaiting the development of a vaccine.

The exercise was just a simulation among high-level government leaders, but it yielded a clear message: the world was not prepared for a pandemic.

Tragically, a comparable scenario played out in real life with COVID-19, and…

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