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SEP 17, 2020 6:00 AM PDT

Keynote Presentation: The American Response to COVID-19: what went right, what went wrong

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Dean, Brown University School of Public Health
    Biography

      Ashish K. Jha, M.D., M.P.H., is the K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI). He is a practicing General Internist and is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jha received his MD from Harvard Medical School and trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. He completed his General Medicine fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and received his MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Jha is a member of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In September, Dr. Jha will begin work as the Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Jha’s research focuses on improving the quality and costs of healthcare systems with a specialized focus on the impact of policies. He has published over two hundred papers in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, and the BMJ, and heads a personal blog on using statistical data research to improve health quality. He has led groundbreaking research around Ebola and is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. Dr. Jha leads national analysis of key issues around the COVID-19 pandemic, advising policy makers and elected officials at the state and federal level and appearing frequently on national television news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, and in written coverage from national newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post. HGHI is providing critical analysis and data on national and state by state testing with Dr. Jha, a vocal advocate for increased testing and contact tracing who has written extensively on the subject. His work has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and Stat News among others.


    Abstract

    The United States has had the worst response to COVID-19 among any country in the world. We are approaching nearly 200K deaths and more than 6 million known infections. The US government’s response to the pandemic from early on was a mixture of denial and incompetence. This includes a failure to set up an effective testing infrastructure to let the nation identity who was infected and who was not; downplaying the seriousness of the infection like comparing it with the flu when everyone knew it was far more deadly; the large campaign of misinformation through platforms like Facebook and much of the misinformation being augmented by our federal political leaders has led to a dramatically uneven response across the nation. As we look towards the fall and winter, despite progress on therapeutics and vaccines on the horizon, we will need a coordinated and effective federal response if we are to avoid hundreds of thousands of people dying from this disease.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. To understand the role of the US federal government in testing and other disease containment strategies

    2. To understand how US federalism led to a diversity of responses and outcomes in this pandemic


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