A global panel warns that coordinated action is vital for an “age of pandemics”
A blue-ribbon panel appointed by the G-20 group of leading rich and developing nations says the world must act now to strengthen preparedness for inevitable future pandemics. The panel, co-chaired by Harvard economist and HKS Professor Larry Summers, calls for the international community to invest $75 billion over the next five years in additional funds for a major overhaul of the world’s health governance infrastructure. The report says we have entered an “age of pandemics,” and events like the onslaught of COVID-19 may reoccur with frightening regularity. For the first time, security will “depend less on resisting foreign adversaries and balancing power than on meeting common threats and fostering cooperation.” Summers, a former U.S. treasury secretary under President Clinton and head of President Obama’s National Economic Council, directs the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School. The other co-chairs of the panel are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the World Trade Organization and a former Angelopoulos Fellow at HKS, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, senior minister and former deputy prime minister and minister of finance of Singapore.