ABSTRACT

Ready or Not 2021: Protecting the Public's Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Executive Summary: "The past year, 2020, will long be remembered as the year more than 2 million people lost their lives due to a global pandemic. Not since the 1918 influenza pandemic has a single event so urgently demonstrated the criticality of a strong public health system. This 'Ready or Not' report has tracked the country's level of public health emergency preparedness since 2003. For nearly two decades, it has asked the fundamental question: 'are we ready?' Unfortunately, the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] crisis has provided a clear answer: an emphatic 'no.' The COVID-19 crisis has illuminated the urgent need for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial leaders to take aggressive steps to shore up the nation's preparedness for all types of emergency events. The pandemic put a spotlight on a public health system hollowed out by years of insufficient funding. Health departments were overstretched, responding to the pandemic with archaic technologies and with overworked staff who faced threats and retribution. These gaps were all the more critical in 2020 because the federal government failed to take an evidence based, leadership role in the pandemic response, with many decisions being left to states that would ordinarily be federally coordinated. It also demonstrated the harm that can be done when science and public health expertise are stifled by political interference and misinformation. [...] This report is designed to give policymakers at all levels of government actionable data and recommendations with which they can target policies and spending to strengthen their jurisdiction's emergency preparedness."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2021-03
Series:
Copyright:
Trust for America's Health. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
Retrieved From:
Trust for America's Health: http://www.tfah.org/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
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Listed on March 24, 2021 [Critical Releases]