News Release

Media Outlets Miss the Point on “Pandemic Preparation”


Media Outlets Miss the Point on “Pandemic Preparation” — Interviews Available

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Bill Gates urged the public not to repeat the mistakes made in the Covid-19 pandemic and called on governments to invest in a new network, the Global Health Emergency Corps, which will work to monitor disease outbreaks and stop pathogen spread. But many experts caution against a solely biomedical approach like the one put forth in Gates’s opinion article.

Available for interviews:

    Sosin is a public health practitioner, researcher, and educator focused on issues of health equity globally and in rural northern New England. 

Sosin told the Institute for Public Accuracy that she has read one piece after another in an “emerging genre of pandemic pieces about the ‘next pandemic.’” She argues that these pieces focus too narrowly on our “biomedical capabilities” and “ignore the structural and social drivers of pandemics.” That, she says, is where the U.S. is “failing to learn the lessons of this pandemic as we look forward to the prospect of another.”

At the start of the Covid pandemic, congregate settings like prisons, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities were hit first and hardest. The next threat, Sosin said, “will hit the same groups and places that were devastated first. We are going to repeat all the same mistakes––with similar outcomes––until we recognize that equity is the fastest path to impact, and until we center that in our thinking and action.”

Sosin also spoke to issues faced specifically by rural communities like those she works with in northern New England. “Though rural areas experience significant disparities, [many rural] institutions responded quite favorably in the early phase of the pandemic, when we didn’t have biomedical tools.” Many of those communities were able to mobilize early; they were “used to working with limited resources.” She is concerned that narratives around rural communities “will depress our will to act at a time when we need to invest in rural places. Disparities need to orient our investments, not our outrage” at rural communities.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Lily Meyersohn; 

March 22, 2023

Institute for Public Accuracy