Despite major advances in medical science and epidemiology over the last century, the United States has not significantly improved its ability to predict and handle public health emergencies. With our fractured system of local, state and federal responsibilities our historic approach to responding to health crises has been uneven. Its a continuing theme in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic as some parts of the country recover more quickly than others. In his book, ‘American Health Crisis: 100 Years of Panic, Planning and Politics’, Professor Martin Halliwell documents how America has lurched from health crisis to health crisis, often leaving vulnerable populations behind. Our most troubling response often comes in the wake of natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, which does not bode well for the future shocks from climate change. Have we learned from the past? Will we respond with better solutions after absorbing the impact of the pandemic on all facets of American life? We explore in this podcast.
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