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Center for Health Security senior scholars Dr. Gigi Gronvall and Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo brief the US House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee

Center News


September 11, 2020 – Gigi Gronvall, PhD, and Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH, SM, senior scholars at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and associate professors at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, briefed congressional members on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) response to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The briefing was convened by the US House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee.

Dr. Gronvall provided an overview of adaptations made to DOD operations during COVID-19 pandemic, identified expertise deficits, and commented on the role of the DOD in the broader COVID response.

“[T]he Department needs to be working on building its capacity to exploit biology and prepare for biological threats. Achieving that will require increasing the biological expertise and understanding at all levels of the military and ensuring that there are possibilities for promotion for servicemembers who have biological expertise,” explained Dr. Gronvall.

Dr. Nuzzo focused her remarks 2 areas where the DOD is making particularly important contributions to the response to COVID-19—building countries’ core capacities to detect and respond to biological threats and conducting epidemiological research to help improve understanding of COVID-19 transmission and prospects for control.

“The DOD is possibly unmatched to perform this kind of lifesaving research, which clearly provide dual benefits, both for the protection of troops’ health and the protection of the health of civilians in non-DOD settings,” said Dr. Nuzzo.

Read Dr. Gronvall’s full remarks. (PDF)

Read Dr. Nuzzo’s full remarks. (PDF)