“Another Pandemic”: How the Biden Administration is Preparing for Future Risks
“Five years from now, we need to have much better capabilities,” says Eric Lander, director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.
The world can’t even say we have the tails of the COVID-19 pandemic right behind us yet, but the American government is already reportedly taking precautionary measures for future pandemic-like crises.
These precautionary measures included a $65.3 billion proposal which is heavily allocated for the United States’ response and recovery to future biological threats. More than one-third of the cost would be spent on vaccine development and distribution capabilities.
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This is big money: almost as big as what was spent on the Apollo program to get the first man on the moon.
According to reports, this is what the plan aims for:
- To dramatically expand the arsenal of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics;
- To strengthen public health systems both in the U.S. and internationally;
- To improve the ability of the U.S. to produce personal protective equipment and other vital supplies;
- To improve early detection of pandemic threats; and
- To create a centralized “mission control” to be in charge of an effort that will draw on multiple federal agencies.
The administration is optimistic that lawmakers will include an initial $15 billion in the $3.5 trillion spending package that Democrats hope to pass this fall to expand the social safety net, address climate change, and more, according to Lander.
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It seemed as though the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to innovate health care systems.
Should another pandemic come our way within the next decade, medical systems should be well-equipped to handle tests, surges, vaccinations, and other medical processes to avoid the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s only right to prepare especially in a time when biological threats have become more transmissible: often from animals to humans because of population growth, climate change, habitat loss, and human behavior. Once infections are transmitted, diseases spread faster with increased global travel.