G7 Needs To Take Concrete Steps To Prepare For Next Disease Outbreak
Washington Post: Stopping the next pandemic today
Ron Klain, former White House Ebola response coordinator
“…[W]hy, with the Ebola epidemic serving as a fresh warning, aren’t the G7 leaders doing more to tackle this critical health and security issue [of disease outbreak preparedness]? … Here is what should be on the G7 agenda: First, the G7 nations — especially the United States, Britain, Germany, and France — should agree to retain the capacities their militaries developed during the Ebola epidemic for infectious disease response and patient airlift. … Second, the G7 should combine these national military resources into a single international entity — what German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called a ‘white helmet battalion’ — that could respond to an outbreak before it becomes a full-scale epidemic. … Third, the G7 nations need to convene the relevant experts and authorities to develop a coherent approach to the fast approval and deployment of new vaccines and treatments that might be required to respond to a pandemic. … Finally, the G7 nations need to step up their commitment to global health security, because in the long run, the only way to keep all of us safe from outbreaks is to have every nation’s health care system sufficiently resourced to provide at least a preliminary response to an outbreak…” (6/5).