The U.S. and U.K. Were the Two Best Prepared Nations to Tackle a Pandemic —What Went Wrong?

On Oct. 24, 2019—45 days before the world’s first suspected case of COVID-19 was announced—a new “scorecard” was published called the Global Health Security Index. The scorecard ranked countries on how prepared they were to tackle a serious outbreak, based on a range of measures, including how quickly a country was likely to respond and how well its health care system would “treat the sick and protect health workers.” The U.S. was ranked first out of 195 nations, and the U.K. was ranked second. You read that correctly. The two countries that on paper were the best prepared to deal with a pandemic turned out by June 2020 to be two of the world’s biggest failures in tackling COVID-19. With 122,300 excess deaths—the number of deaths over and above what would be expected in non-crisis conditions—the U.S. ranks number 1 on this metric. In second place, with 65,700 excess deaths, is the U.K. There’s a reason the scorecard got it so wrong: It did not account for the political context in which a national policy response to a pandemic is formulated and implemented. There is an eerie similarity in the appalling political decisions made by President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson—two right wing “illiberal populist” leaders who believed their nations were invulnerable, generally rejected science, and turned inwards and away from multilateralism. Their parallel decisions consigned many of t...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news

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Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized 2019-nCoV Infectious Disease Source Type: news
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