Dr. Redfield joins host Alex Maiersperger to speak about public health measures against the COVID-19 pandemic and shares insights into what has worked, what hasn’t, and what learnings decision makers could apply in the future. The main challenge, in the United States, he explains, is that the public health infrastructure is extremely underfunded, leading to a lack of resources, including the workforce, equipment and funding for a modern data infrastructure.
Building public health resilience – an approach that ensures public health systems have enough equipment and trained staff to respond to a pandemic – while maintaining the quality of routine health services, is a major need Redfield speaks about. He suggests redundant resources can be diverted to diagnostics for chronic diseases, when there is no pandemic. Dr. Redfield believes the great pandemic is yet to come, which will likely be a bird flu pandemic with significant mortality rates. Having the mRNA technology in place to produce effective vaccines, is key a scientific advancement Dr. Redfield speaks about. However, he also highlights manufacturing and scalability issues slow down a fast response.