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The Atlantic Examines Global, U.S. Disease Outbreak Preparedness

The Atlantic: The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?
“…On average, in one corner of the world or another, a new infectious disease has emerged every year for the past 30 years: MERS, Nipah, Hendra, and many more. Researchers estimate that birds and mammals harbor anywhere from 631,000 to 827,000 unknown viruses that could potentially leap into humans. Valiant efforts are under way to identify them all … Still, we likely won’t ever be able to predict which will spill over next; even long-known viruses like Zika, which was discovered in 1947, can suddenly develop into unforeseen epidemics…” (Yong, July/August 2018).

The Atlantic: Is Trump Ready for a Global Outbreak?
“…Should another pandemic break out, nations must be prepared to collaborate meaningfully in order to eradicate it. … So, is Trump’s America up to the task? Writer Ed Yong doesn’t think so. ‘(Trump’s) nationalism could be catastrophic because diseases demand global cooperation,’ he says in a new animated video based on his recent Atlantic article, ‘When the Next Plague Hits.’ To illustrate Trump’s potential inability to effectively deal with a global pandemic, Yong points to the president’s xenophobic response to the [2014 West Africa] Ebola outbreak — and contrasts it with that of New York City’s health commissioner Mary T. Bassett, who mitigated public panic and fought against discrimination” (Cadieux, 6/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.