PREPARING FOR THE NEXT PANDEMIC
Guarding Against Pandemics is currently fighting to protect $30 billion to prevent the next pandemic.
Guarding Against Pandemics (GAP) advocates for public investments to prevent the next pandemic. COVID-19 has killed over 600,000 Americans and cost this country $16 trillion dollars, and experts say that the next pandemic could be right around the corner. GAP’s one and only goal is to ensure this never happens again.
While there has been massive public investment in responding to COVID-19, there has been almost no public investment targeted at protecting us from the next pandemic. COVID-19 has taken so many lives and cost so much money because we did not prevent it. And while it is critical that we respond to this current pandemic, we must also prevent the next one.
We need all Americans to work together to stop the next pandemic before it starts. That’s why GAP is pushing Congress to include a $30 billion investment in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill — less than 1% of the total cost of the bill — to prevent the next pandemic.
What can pandemic prevention research accomplish?
Effective therapeutics and vaccines for every known pathogen. We already know what diseases may cause the next pandemic. If we develop, approve, and manufacture therapeutics and vaccines for them in advance, we can save millions of lives.
Better masks. The next pandemic would likely be from a respiratory illness, like COVID-19. N-95 masks help prevent the spread of respiratory infections, but we need to make them easier to wear correctly, much more comfortable, and even more protective.
Safer buildings. Like COVID-19, the next pandemic will likely spread primarily indoors. We need to pandemic-proof our buildings, particularly public spaces like airports, classrooms, public transit, and hospitals.
Faster, better testing. One of the most effective ways to curb pandemics is to test everyone, as frequently as possible and give them the information to make good decisions. It took months to manufacture and distribute enough COVID-19 tests, and the tests were not nearly as reliable as they could be. We need to develop tests for possible pathogens in advance, and be ready to scale them up and distribute them immediately.