James Ball

How did the UK’s pandemic preparations go so wrong?

From the magazine
How did the UK’s pandemic preparations go so wrong?

In October, a panel of 21 experts from across the world gathered for the first of what promised to be a series of reports assessing readiness for pandemics. ‘Infectious diseases know no borders,’ warned the Global Health Security Index. ‘So all countries must prioritise and exercise the capabilities required to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to public health emergencies.’ Every country was called to be transparent about its capabilities ‘to assure neighbours it can stop an outbreak from becoming an international catastrophe’. Two countries were held up as the best examples: Britain and the United States. If a league table were drawn up of countries that most failed to contain Covid deaths, the US and the UK would be pretty near the top.

James Ball

How did the UK’s pandemic preparations go so wrong?

From the magazine
How did the UK’s pandemic preparations go so wrong?

In October, a panel of 21 experts from across the world gathered for the first of what promised to be a series of reports assessing readiness for pandemics. ‘Infectious diseases know no borders,’ warned the Global Health Security Index. ‘So all countries must prioritise and exercise the capabilities required to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to public health emergencies.’ Every country was called to be transparent about its capabilities ‘to assure neighbours it can stop an outbreak from becoming an international catastrophe’. Two countries were held up as the best examples: Britain and the United States. If a league table were drawn up of countries that most failed to contain Covid deaths, the US and the UK would be pretty near the top.

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