Ending Pandemics: US Foreign Policy to Mitigate Today’s Major Killers, Tomorrow’s Outbreaks, and the Health Impacts of Climate Change

Journal of International Affairs, Online, Oct. 10, 2019

22 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2019

See all articles by Matthew Kavanagh

Matthew Kavanagh

Georgetown University

Harsha Thirumurthy

University of Pennsylvania; Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Rebecca Katz

Georgetown University

Kristie Ebi

University of Washington - Department of Global Health

Chris Beyrer

Center for Public Health & Human Rights

Jamila Headley

Health Global Access Project (GAP)

Charles B. Holmes

Georgetown/John Hopkins Program on Law and Health

Chris Collins

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Date Written: October 10, 2019

Abstract

Every U.S. President in recent decades has had to respond to at least one pandemic disease. Political leadership has proven decisive. In the coming years, U.S. foreign policy will face at least three inter-related issues: today’s major pandemics of AIDS, TB, and Malaria; future outbreaks with the potential to become pandemics; and rising risk from infectious diseases associated with climate change. A review of epidemiologic data shows global progress on each issue is threatened. A coordinated U.S. effort, across agencies and engaged with national and multilateral partners, could save lives and address significant foreign policy interests. Such an effort could boost economic prosperity by reducing disease-related lost productivity, which we estimate at $1.7 trillion, with returns to investment in pandemic-related global health efforts averaging 17–20 to 1. Foreign policy focus on pandemics could also address gender and social inequalities and support climate adaptation and mitigation. Pandemic-related global health spending is 0.19% of the U.S. budget—a figure that has been flat in recent years even with growing needs and significant potential gains from investment.

Suggested Citation

Kavanagh, Matthew and Thirumurthy, Harsha and Katz, Rebecca and Ebi, Kristie and Beyrer, Chris and Headley, Jamila and Holmes, Charles B. and Collins, Chris and Gostin, Lawrence O., Ending Pandemics: US Foreign Policy to Mitigate Today’s Major Killers, Tomorrow’s Outbreaks, and the Health Impacts of Climate Change (October 10, 2019). Journal of International Affairs, Online, Oct. 10, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3475610

Matthew Kavanagh

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Harsha Thirumurthy

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

423 Guardian Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Rebecca Katz

Georgetown University ( email )

3900 Reservoir Road, NW, 305SW Med Dent
Washington, DC 20057
United States
2022514925 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ghss.georgetown.edu

Kristie Ebi

University of Washington - Department of Global Health ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Chris Beyrer

Center for Public Health & Human Rights ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21205-1996
United States

Jamila Headley

Health Global Access Project (GAP) ( email )

429 W. 127th St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10027
United States

Charles B. Holmes

Georgetown/John Hopkins Program on Law and Health ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21205-1996
United States

Chris Collins

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

1634 Eye Street NW Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Lawrence O. Gostin (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

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