Preparing for pandemics such as coronavirus—will we ever break the vicious cycle of panic and neglect?

Policy Blog
This blog was first published in Brookings Future Development Blog. The authors are Gavin Yamey, Marco Schäferhoff, Kaci Kennedy McDade, and Wenhui Mao. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in China was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Although researchers quickly identified and sequenced the virus, our weak global pandemic preparedness system has led to rising numbers of people infected with 2019-nCoV worldwide. The virus is highly transmissible, and is likely to become a pandemic. WHO has requested $675 million for a coronavirus preparedness and response plan. When a pandemic occurs, global health donors rush to provide a burst of pandemic funding. Then, just as we saw in the wake of past outbreaks like the…
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