COVID-19 blind spots: A consensus statement on the importance of competent political leadership and the need for public health cognizance

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Abstract

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, important discoveries and considerations emerge regarding the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) pathogen; its biological and epidemiological characteristics; and the corresponding psychological, societal, and public health (PH) impacts. During the past year, the global community underwent a massive transformation, including the implementation of numerous nonpharmacological interventions; critical diversions or modifications across various spheres of our economic and public domains; and a transition from consumption-driven to conservation-based behaviors. Providing essential necessities such as food, water, health care, financial, and other services has become a formidable challenge, with significant threats to the existing supply chains and the shortage or reduction of workforce across many sectors of the global economy. Food and pharmaceutical supply chains constitute uniquely vulnerable and critically important areas that require high levels of safety and compliance. Many regional health-care systems faced at least one wave of overwhelming COVID-19 case surges, and still face the possibility of a new wave of infections on the horizon, potentially in combination with other endemic diseases such as influenza, dengue, tuberculosis, and malaria. In this context, the need for an effective and scientifically informed leadership to sustain and improve global capacity to ensure international health security is starkly apparent. Public health “blind spotting,” promulgation of pseudoscience, and academic dishonesty emerged as significant threats to population health and stability during the pandemic. The goal of this consensus statement is to provide a focused summary of such “blind spots” identified during an expert group intense analysis of “missed opportunities” during the initial wave of the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-190
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Global Infectious Disease
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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