How has global pandemic preparedness evolved over the years, and what is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) role in managing outbreaks of infectious disease? What were the impacts of 9/11, anthrax, and Hurricane Katrina on American systems of emergency preparedness? Dr. Andrew Lakoff, a professor of sociology at University of South California, an expert on globalization, the history of the human sciences, contemporary social theory, and risk society, discusses the historical contexts of the WHO and American governmental agencies like Health and Human Services (HHS) and Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Dr. Lakoff discusses the tension in the WHO between focusing on assisting countries with non-communicable diseases and responding to emerging new diseases. He talks about COVID-19 fits into the longer history of international health regulations. Dr. Lakoff also gets into the weeds of U.S. emergency response and inter-agency cooperation in response to infectious diseases. For further reading: Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems, Expertise, and the Politics of Security “Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Is a Call to Action,’ U.N. Secretary General Says” “From Crisis to Emergency: The Shifting Logic of Preparedness”
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