Center Director Tom Inglesby Publishes Guest Essay in The New York Times to Mark 3rd Anniversary of COVID-19 Pandemic
March 12, 2023 – In a New York Times commentary published today, Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, marks the third anniversary of WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic and reflects on lessons learned that could help the country better prepare for the next pandemic.
“As horrible as COVID has been—it remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States—it is not the worst-case scenario,” writes Dr. Inglesby. “The world needs to be prepared for the next Disease X, something capable of causing global catastrophic risks.”
He notes 6 takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic that, if enacted collectively, could help transform future national preparedness:
- We need to be able to get vaccines in arms much faster.
- We need to make it much easier to develop and distribute tests.
- We need a stronger stockpile of high-quality protective gear.
- We need to seriously change our approach to indoor air quality.
- We need stronger research oversight and lab safety.
- The CDC needs a reset.
Most importantly, Dr. Inglesby calls on the US Congress to support the Biden administration's request for funding to prevent and prepare for the next pandemic and use the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) to broadly bolster preparedness.
“We are likely to face similar or worse pandemic threats in the future,” Dr. Inglesby concludes. “We need to use the time we have now to make big preparedness changes to protect us from challenges that could arise again without warning.”