RAND Essays: Preventing and Managing Future Pandemics

A globe is covered with a surgical mask signifying global pandemic

The RAND Corporation has released Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Outbreak: Preventing and Managing Future Pandemics, a collection of essays which detail several response and management issues that arose during the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that provide possible solutions for future pandemic prevention and management. While these essays mostly focus on the United States and China, the discussions presented are useful to and can be applied in a global context. The following topics are explored:  

  • Warning about threats without actors: explores issues surrounding how to present a “warning of a rare threat before it gets out of control and in a way that policymakers comprehend well enough to take meaningful action.”
  • Lessons from China’s early decisions: presents five recommendations to “prevent […] pandemic early-day errors, misunderstandings, and cases of government malfeasance.”
  • Reforming the World Health Organization (WHO): reviews current steps being taken to review WHO limitations and what is being suggested for future improvements.
  • Conducting complex scientific research with dangerous biological materials: notes the importance in balancing the risks and benefits to this type of research.
  • Prioritizing biosafety and biosecurity: discusses the lack of “mandated policy guidance or regulatory requirements for those who are working with biological pathogens” and provides possible solutions.
  • Ensuring access to medical supplies: explores supply chain issues and solutions.
  • American public support for vaccine globalism: examines American attitudes over global vaccinations.

Read the full report here.

For more resources related to this piece, check out HSDL’s COVID-19 Resource Archive or Disaster Economics.

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