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January 30, 2021, marked the first anniversary of the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Thus far, the world has been no match for SARS-CoV-2, with more than 100 million cases and 2.5 million deaths. The US has been among the world’s poorest performers in addressing the pandemic, with more than 500 000 deaths.

Vaccines offer the best chance of returning to normal, but circulating variants pose a major obstacle, particularly the emergence of variants that are more transmissible and are developing partial resistance to vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. With rampant global circulation, SARS-CoV-2 will have ample opportunity to mutate further.

What went wrong and how can society learn from its greatest failures?

Publication Citation

The Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 325, No. 12, Pp. 1132-1133.