The Case for a Pandemic Moonshot

Tom Ridge and Asha M. George in The New Atlantis:

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed an estimated fifteen million people around the world, ravaged health systems, and destroyed economies. It has also exposed destabilizing divisions at home and abroad, and revealed domestic and global weaknesses in biodefense. The United States alone has seen a million lives lost to the virus and an estimated $16 trillion in economic costs, making it the deadliest pandemic in our history and the costliest catastrophe since the Great Depression. The turmoil and grief Americans have faced reflect their justified frustrations with the government’s ineffectiveness in handling the crisis.

This ineffectiveness also contributed to the extreme politicization of the crisis. Mask mandates were understandably frustrating and lockdowns maddening, and public health and political leaders were flummoxed when it came to basic communication. Our reliance on century-old responses spurred civil and political unrest as the public lost faith in leaders to protect them.

More here.