Australian Journal of Emergency Management | AJEM

Dr Robert GlasserIn the not too distant future, when the history of the COVID-19 pandemic response is written, it will conclude that the world was woefully unprepared for the scale and effect of the virus—but not because of inadequate early warning.

Health experts have, for many decades, urged governments to take the threat seriously and the H5N1, H1N1, SARS and MERS outbreaks in the years preceding the pandemic should have increased the sense of urgency. A long-term, well-funded global plan was needed to reduce pandemic risk. Instead government funding was incremental and short-lived, triggered by the earlier novel disease outbreaks and fading as the crises caused by them subsided.

Dr Robert Glasser
Visiting Fellow, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction