If COVID-19 is the 9/11 moment for global public health, what needs to happen next?

September 4, 2020 8:30 - 10:00

Location: Auditorium 28A


This high-level panel discussion moderated by the Financial Times Science Editor brings together world leading authorities on public health practice, management and policy. They are charged with conceiving, developing, implementing and often running those invisible systems we take for granted in our everyday lives – now utterly re-written by COVID-19.

Our panellists include: the editor-in-chief of a leading medical journal and vocal critic of government responses to the pandemic; a former African Science Minister now UNESCO’s Latin American & Caribbean Regional Leader; a physician now head of Asia’s most prestigious scientific agency; the former UN Health Envoy and Chief Executive of the Global Fund who is now a Member of the Global Committee on Drug Policy; and the Chair of South Africa’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Committee. Collectively they will make a call for urgent change.

Their shared objective is to look back at what has gone wrong (and right) with the response to the pandemic, while flagging its overlooked or still-to-be appreciated consequences. Their premise is that if the 9/11 attacks changed all our lives from the perspective of state security, then COVID-19 must leave a similar legacy for the future of global public health.

They will discuss what surveillance, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine development architecture should be put in place, ready for the next pandemic. With the strength of international cooperation tested to the full, what reformed or new regional or global facilities are needed, where and why? Above all, how can we put an end to our health chances being a global postcode lottery, while moving equal access to innovation and treatment for everyone in the world from pipedream to reality?

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