Ready or Not 2021: Are We Prepared for Public Health Threats?

Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) has released its yearly report on the U.S.’ preparedness for public health threats, Ready or Not 2021: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism. The report uses our current global health crisis as an example to prove what TFAH has been reiterating for a long time: No, America is not fully prepared.  TFAH used their standard 10 key emergency preparedness indicators to assess states’ readiness and found that 20 states were in the high performance tier, 15 were in the middle tier, and 15 were in the low tier, which brings states’ readiness levels down even lower than in TFAH’s 2020 assessment.

The report also incorporates further issues of concern that have been spotlighted due to COVID-19, such as health inequities amongst communities of color, and people’s hesitancy towards vaccines. The foreword notes that the “pandemic has illustrated that robust and sustained funding, elected officials’ leadership, and federal-state coordination and planning are key to protecting Americans’ health security. Moreover, there is no substitute at the state or local level for a strong federal response.”  The hope is that the pandemic lessons will be lessons learned, and by working together, states and the federal government can create stronger resiliency for the future.


For more information on the topics addressed visit the  HSDL Featured Topic on Pandemics and Epidemics or view other resources related to bioterrorism or emergency preparedness.  Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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