Managing the Risk and Impact of Future Epidemics


Have warned of a pandemic for decades yet when Covad, 19 arrived The world had few resource is and little understanding. Betsy McKay, senior writer at the Wall Street Journal, has done a deep dive on the reasons Why, Betsy, what did you come up with? Well, we went back, You know, more than 20 years to look at. Basically how the threat of a pandemic and certainly the threat of epidemics has grown over the years and you know they were there have been warnings going back for decades now ever since. You know some of these new viruses, most of which come from animals. Charitably emerging. But we kept going from epidemic epidemic and making a few changes along the way, but not really taking a comprehensive approach and doing everything you need to do to prevent situation like the one we're in. So why is it that we wind up being reactive all the time? It seems and not proactive. Um, well, that's a philosophical and a psychological, In addition, feel policy questions in a part of it of human nature, right? You know, it's hard to imagine what could happen, but but on a policy level, it's very hard to get government. And how political leaders scientific leaders to commit. Money and time to a high consequence, low probability events as they call it, you know that will happen is likely to happen sometime. You just don't know when and the likelihood of that happening. Is it any given time is low, so people it's something you can push off until tomorrow. If we're signature, etc. McKay, senior writer at the Wall Street Journal, she's written a piece entitled A Deadly Corona virus was inevitable. Why was no one ready? Some of the other factors you put together here to about funding warning systems, the role of the World Health Organization, China's communication, I'd explain some of that. Well, you know, One problem is that as a globe, we never have really figured out how to go on an international level, Prevent and then and, um Uh, respond to epidemics. The world for Health organization is the organization that does that, But they're way underfunded. I mean, like Wayne hunted and most of the money in their budget. Is earmarked for specific project. Polio eradication is a big one. And a lot of the polio work does help build helps the stones, which also help you, you know, detect other other passages, so there's crossover but essentially There's never been a union nations coming together and working together and also You know? Ah. A lot of this prepared to sort has to be done by the national government. But again, they're all individually under pressure. You know, they have budgets to manage a lot of needs. You know if you've got a big Ah, Hurricane comes after to respond to right now, versus the threat of Ah sort of nebulous of a pandemic happening sometime. Where's your money going to go? And that just keeps happening over and over. She's Yeah. Right. So a cz we all know and believe at this point. I believe this won't be our last pandemic. So what about next time? I know there are lessons learned here. But do we put them to use and try to somehow prepare What's the big question, isn't it? I mean, some people say you know what Now the world has learned if he will never make this mistake again. As, uh, as a partial sceptic or sometimes skeptic. I wonder, you know, when push comes to show way certainly will be more than we've done. But what we do enough You know, it really takes changing the mind said a lot of people I have spoken with who were in government and leave these efforts have said, you really need to start Viewing. Um, epidemic in emerging disease as akin to a military sweat and you need to prepare For them in that way, so not sporadic funding really need to invest in this as a bit of a national security issue, not, um, kind of a side scientific issue, and things will come along as they come along. It's really like War. So when you look at it that way, you know, we certainly have a long way to go on. The other thing is months of The world of pandemic preparedness has been focused on a flu pandemic, preparing for a flu pandemic and again much of that work. Those prepare you for any kind of pandemic. But at the same time there was, you know, it's really interesting of growing threat from a lowly Corona virus, which until 2003 had only ever been known to cause common cold, inhuman. Thanks Betsy

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