World Must Mobilize Collective Efforts To Prevent, Prepare For Pandemics, Opinion Piece Says

Foreign Policy: The World Knows an Apocalyptic Pandemic Is Coming
Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“A new independent report compiled at the request of the United Nations secretary general warns that there is a ‘very real threat’ of a pandemic sweeping the planet, killing up to 80 million people. A deadly pathogen, spread airborne around the world, the report says, could wipe out almost 5 percent of the global economy. And we’re not ready. … So far, however, humanity has pushed disease threats out of its collective consciousness shortly after every epidemic ceased. The 1918 influenza pandemic killed some 50 to 100 million people — estimates vary widely. And the plague of the 14th century claimed 60 percent of the European population: roughly 50 million souls. We have already, in my lifetime, failed to stop HIV, which, since its emergence on the global stage in 1981, has sickened 75 million people, killing about 32 million of them. We know there will be another terrible epidemic — perhaps not as large as 1918 flu or the plague, but awful nonetheless. Yet it will likely take much more than expert reports to mobilize serious collective efforts to prevent and prepare catastrophe” (9/20)