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Resetting Our Response: Changes Needed in the US Approach to COVID-19

Resetting Our Response: Changes Needed in the US Approach to COVID-19
Caitlin Rivers, Elena Martin, Crystal Watson, Monica Schoch-Spana, Anita Cicero, Tom Inglesby
Date posted:
July 29, 2020
Publication type:
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been profound. Despite initial declines in cases in May 2020 following implementation of stringent stay-at-home orders, cases are resurging in most states. The number of deaths has been rising in many states, with hospitalization rates for COVID-19 now again matching or exceeding numbers seen at the peak in New York City in March and April. Hospitals are under pressure or approaching a crisis in many places around the country. This resurgence is stressing many sectors of society, from businesses to education to health care. Unlike many countries in the world, the United States is not currently on course to get control of this epidemic. It’s time to reset.

This brief report describes concrete policy actions at the federal, state, and local levels that are needed to get control of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Recommendations identify “quarterbacks,” or responsible designees, to lead each policy action. However, leaders and stakeholders at all levels (federal, state, and local) will need to contribute commitment, technical expertise, insights, and funding to make the proposed actions possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge far beyond what any 1 state, territory, or community can handle alone. It is only our collective action that will generate the change necessary to regain control of this epidemic, avoid cascading crises in our healthcare system and economy, and save great numbers of lives throughout the United States.



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