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NIAID Director Discusses How Lessons Learned Over 5 U.S. Administrations Can Inform Future Responses To Health Threats

Health Affairs Blog: What Three Decades Of Pandemic Threats Can Teach Us About The Future
Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), reflects on lessons learned during his more than 30-year tenure advising five presidents on public health and describes how the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama responded to public health crises. Fauci writes, “If history has taught us anything, it is that the new administration is likely to experience at least one infectious disease crisis of significance. We have learned from the past decades that it is important to have strong global surveillance systems; transparency and honest communication with the public; strong public health and health care infrastructure, or capacity building efforts where needed; coordinated and collaborative basic and clinical research; and the development of universal platform technologies to enable the rapid development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. We also have learned that it is essential to have a stable and pre-established funding mechanism to utilize during public health emergencies” (2/9).