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Pressures on CDC for November COVID vaccine release

Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on US politics.

How does the CDC look in advising states to prepare for an early November COVID vaccine release?

Well, there's two things going on here. The first is the pressure that the scientists and doctors working in the private sector and the federal government feel to get a vaccine out so we can all return to our normal lives. The second thing that's going on here is the political pressure coming from the White House to get a vaccine out the door so that President Trump can argue that he's returned things to normal. It's unclear which one of those pressures is pushing the CDC to action right now. It's possible that a vaccine is ready for an emergency use authorization by early November. But if the data doesn't support that it's safe, there's going to be a lot of blowback from the public health community, which could in turn undermine confidence in the public to actually take the vaccine when it comes out it is safe. So this is a big issue to keep your eye on.

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Pandemic-Proofing the World (How to Stop the COVID-19 Nightmare from Happening Again)

"We now have for the first time, pre-COVID, a very good sense of where the gaps are" says former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden on pandemic preparedness. But in order to prevent another pandemic from bringing the world to its knees, he argues, the United States must play a more proactive role on the global stage. First step: work much more closely with the CDC (and don't, for starters, pull funding during a pandemic).

CDC Has Maintained High US Trust; Will This Change?

Ian Bremmer looks at how American public trust in government has fallen off a cliff in a relatively short period of time. However, public trust in one of the most critical institutions of the moment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, remains high.

Flying Blind: The US Government’s Pandemic Response with Dr. Tom Frieden

Former CDC director – and current CEO of the public health initiative Resolve to Save Lives – Dr. Tom Frieden joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control in the United States (hint: we need more data). As with politics, Dr. Frieden argues, all epidemics are local. And the outbreaks crippling much of the South and Southwest need local responses. But the main failing lies at the federal level. Things won't improve (and schools won't effectively reopen) Dr. Frieden warns, until Washington alters course. That is, of course, until an effective vaccine becomes readily accessible to all Americans. Though even that will likely not be the silver bullet we all want it to be.

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Fmr. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden on Opening Schools: “The Key is to Open Them in a Way that They Can Stay Open"

In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says that the single most important step to reopening schools in the fall is to control infection in the community. But as of now, too many communities across the United States have lost control of the Covid-19 virus. Opening schools will only become a possibility once a majority of people start practicing the "Three 'W's" ("Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance") and local and federal governments enforce stricter protective policies. The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, August 7, 2020. Check local listings.

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