Chair's Initiative Breakout Sessions Enter Fourth Week:
Thinking About a National Strategy and Response to the Pandemic
The AGA Chair’s Initiative is focused on primarily domestic issues related to COVID-19 vaccines
. The Initiative remains ongoing and the cohorts have discussed innumerable topics. Note instructions for joining in the conversation [link to where it is in the newsletter].
One topic that does not fit neatly into a cohort is that of “vaccine nationalism.” In a paper published by a National Security Institute (NSI) entitled Stopping the Spread: Pandemics, Warning, and the IC it is argued that the US Health and Human Services should be included in the US Intelligence Community and be full participating member of the national security apparatus.
This recommendation may be controversial. There is already controversy surrounding the announcement of a new “climate czar” that will be part of the National Security Council. But perhaps if the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institute of Health (NIH) were more involved in the international intelligence machinery, global pandemic identification and response could occur sooner and be more robust?
At a minimum it is worth asking the question and considering the consequences of non-inclusion as we seek to improve our health systems, get through this pandemic, and avoid the next epidemic. As NSI Fellow Jim Danoy states, “the opportunity exists to build on the work that has been done to-date by deepening existing relationships the IC has with the public health sector and by forging new partnerships as part of a whole-of-society approach to combatting the spread of infectious diseases.”