We asked RAND experts to reflect on the past three years: What were the effects on the United States and around the world, what has changed, what are the most important takeaways, what was done right, and what was done wrong? At the same time, they looked ahead to what might be done to mitigate the health and geopolitical impacts of future pandemics.
COVID-19 showed that the U.S. pandemic response plans of the past were no match for a protracted nationwide health emergency. What lessons were learned that could help the United States effectively protect its population and other vital national interests going forward?
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a need for a more-robust health security paradigm within the broader national security context. But addressing preparedness and response shortfalls for national-level challenges might not be fully possible without first addressing the glaring seams and gaps between the various stakeholder communities.
Three years after the SARS-COV-2 virus emerged in Wuhan, China is now facing a tsunami of COVID-19 infections. The unprecedented spread of the disease appears to have been fueled by an ill-timed change in COVID-19 policy and a lack of vaccination and boosting. A rethinking of national strategy could still help.
The next public health emergency or large-scale disaster may be looming. It may be time to rethink the way federal relief funds are sought and allocated so that aid is more rapidly, accurately, and fairly distributed to hospitals and health systems. This could help ensure patients and communities get the care when and where they need it when crisis hits.
This week, we discuss preparing for future pandemics; planning now for a negotiated outcome in Ukraine; insights from Ukraine that relate to Taiwan; the need for more data to help reduce law enforcement–related deaths; how China might react to U.S. posture changes; and using statistics to improve military force planning.
As the world emerges from the long and devastating COVID-19 pandemic, nations around the world, including the United States, could look to South Korea's near-perfect response as a model for dealing with future public health crises.
Community-based organizations know how to register voters and increase census participation. Reaching out block by block, even door to door, they can be just as effective in boosting vaccination rates.
Recent announcements have demonstrated how little has been learned from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential need for a national reckoning to assess shortfalls and develop recommendations for preparing for and responding to future pandemics and other biological risks. The United States could create a national commission to develop a way forward.
Tunisia's response to the COVID pandemic has been spotty, though vaccination rates have improved and mortality rates have dropped. When the political instability is factored in, Tunisia's emergence from the pandemic may not be quick.
Lockdown restrictions that may have contributed to low COVID-19 case numbers in Jordan early in the pandemic resulted in economic stresses and increased psychological distress in the general population. RAND researchers identified challenges faced by Jordanians during the crisis and the country's innovative and equitable response to mitigate them.
Qatar adopted a spectrum of policies and health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and encouraged its innovation ecosystem to play a role in fighting the pandemic. The health sector has gained experience during the pandemic that might inform response to future spikes in demand for health system resources.
In Lebanon, COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and daily deaths continue to decline. This is an accomplishment worthy of celebration in the midst of hyperinflation, all-time high unemployment, nadir purchasing power, and a health sector on the verge of collapse.