Assessing the US government response to the coronavirus

By Daniel M. Gerstein, July 20, 2020

coronavirus as seen through scanning electron microscope Scanning electron microscope image of the virus that causes COVID-19 emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Image captured and colorized at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Rocky Mountain Laboratories. Credit: NIAID

When the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States, the country demonstrated significant shortfalls in preparedness and response. Diagnostic testing came late and was inadequate. Desperate for ventilators and personal protective equipment, states were thrust into a chaotic competition over the limited supplies. The network of federal, state, and local officials who had trained together on how to respond to a pandemic was torn as the Trump administration created the Coronavirus Task Force. And to top it off, the federal government had failed for decades to develop an efficient and well-resourced biodefense system to monitor and respond to biological threats like a pandemic virus. Read this free-access article in the Bulletin magazine until October 1, 2020.

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