When should have COVID-19 testing started in the United States and what were the barriers to testing access in the early days of the Pandemic? What did testing look like on the ground in Philadelphia, PA during this time? Dr. Esther Chernak, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health and director of the Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication at Drexel University, discusses various Public Health responses to COVID-19 at the international, national, and local level. In particular Dr. Chernak discusses how the American CDC has reacted to community spread in the U.S., how that response compares to countries like those in China and South Korea, and what efforts she is working on in the Philadelphia area. Dr. Chernak also talks about the ebb and flow of public health funding in Post-9/11 America, stigma associated with diseases like HIV and COVID-19, and what she thinks we can expect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking from her experience and expertise in March 2020, Dr. Chernak argues that the pandemic will likely expose flaws in the American healthcare system and that disparities in health outcomes will likely hew along socio-economic, rather than just regional, lines. For further reading: Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) “China’s cases of COVID-19 are Finally declining. A WHO expert explains why.”


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