The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Call for Public-Private Cooperation for Pandemic Preparedness and Response
January 17, 2020 – The next severe pandemic will not only cause great illness and loss of life but could also trigger major cascading economic and societal consequences that could contribute greatly to global impact and suffering. Efforts to prevent such consequences or respond to them as they unfold will require unprecedented levels of collaboration between governments, international organizations, and the private sector.
The Event 201 pandemic exercise, conducted on October 18, 2019 co-hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, vividly demonstrated a number of these important gaps in pandemic preparedness as well as some of the elements of the solutions between the public and private sectors that will be needed to fill them.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation jointly propose the following:
- Governments, international organizations, and businesses should plan now for how essential corporate capabilities will be utilized during a large-scale pandemic.
- Industry, national governments, and international organizations should work together to enhance internationally held stockpiles of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to enable rapid and equitable distribution during a severe pandemic.
- Countries, international organizations, and global transportation companies should work together to maintain travel and trade during severe pandemics.
- Governments should provide more resources and support for the development and surge manufacturing of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics that will be needed during a severe pandemic.
- Global business should recognize the economic burden of pandemics and fight for stronger preparedness.
- International organizations should prioritize reducing economic impacts of epidemics and pandemics.
- Governments and the private sector should assign a greater priority to developing methods to combat mis- and disinformation prior to the next pandemic response.
About the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security works to protect people from epidemics and disasters and build resilient communities through innovative scholarship, engagement, and research that strengthens the organizations, systems, policies, and programs essential to preventing and responding to public health crises. The Center is part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is located in Baltimore, MD.
About the World Economic Forum:
As the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, the World Economic Forum is committed to managing risks associated with emerging infectious diseases of epidemic and pandemic potential through innovative, cross-industry, and cross-sectoral public-private cooperation, strengthening national and global health security. Via the Forum’s Epidemics Readiness Accelerator, more than 100 stakeholders are addressing challenges associated with public-private cooperation relied upon for effective readiness. The 2019 Global Risk Report describes the transformation of biological risks, and the 2019 report, “Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact,” helps companies properly understand risks, enabling them to reduce their exposure, improve their resilience, and deliver on key opportunities for public-private cooperation to strengthen global health security.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.