• An Experiment to Fight Pandemic-Era Learning Loss Launches in Richmond

    After intense opposition and skepticism, two elementary schools opened 20 days early to help students make up for what they missed during the time of remote learning. The first question: Would kids show up in the middle of summer for extra schooling?

  • Scent Dogs Can Detect COVID-19 More Rapidly, Accurately Than Current Tests

    Scent dogs may represent a cheaper, faster and more effective way to detect COVID-19, and could be a key tool in future pandemics, a new review of recent research suggests. The review found that scent dogs are as effective, or even more effective, than conventional COVID-19 tests such as RT-PCR.

  • U.S. Animal Industries Pose Serious Risk of Future Zoonotic Pandemics

    Animal industries in the United States pose serious risk of future pandemics and the U.S. government lacks a comprehensive strategy to address these threats, a new study concludes. The study is the first to comprehensively map networks of animal commerce that fuel zoonotic disease risk in the U.S.

  • COVID: How Incorrect Assumptions and Poor Foresight Hampered the U.K. Pandemic Preparedness

    In 2016, the UK government engaged in a series of exercises including Cygnus to assess their preparedness and response to a pandemic outbreak of a pandemic. No planning exercise can cover all eventualities. But a key requirement for policymakers should be to learn as fast and effectively as possible while events unfold. The business concept of “dynamic capability” – that is, an organization’s ability to configure and reconfigure its assets, processes and capabilities so as to respond effectively to rapidly changing external circumstances – is useful here. Building and strengthening this capability should be a prerequisite for policymakers and planners in government.

  • Declassified U.S. Intelligence Answers Few Questions on Origins of COVID-19

    On Friday, the U.S. intelligence community released declassified U.S. intelligence on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, following a March executive order signed by President Joe Biden. The report said that despite concerns about biosafety measures at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), and despite its history of work with coronaviruses, there is no intelligence that indicates COVID-19 was present in the lab before the outbreak.

  • U.S. Intelligence Agencies Have Not Yet Released Expected COVID-19 Materials

    In March, President Joe Biden signed the COVID-⁠19 Origin Act of 2023 into law, setting up a requirement for the U.S. Intelligence Community to release as much information possible about the origin of COVID-19. The intelligence community has not yet released that information.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation and Disinformation Costs an Estimated $50 to $300 Million Each Day

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that false or misleading health-related information can dangerously undermine the response to a public health crisis. Misinformation and disinformation have contributed to reduced trust in medical professionals and public health responders, increased belief in false medical cures, politicized public health countermeasures aimed at curbing transmission of the disease, and increased loss of life.

  • Can America’s Students Recover What They Lost During the Pandemic?

    Disastrous test scores increasingly show how steep a toll the COVID-19 era exacted on students, particularly minorities. Schools are grappling with how to catch up, and the experience of one city shows how intractable the obstacles are.

  • Gap in ‘Excess Deaths’ Has Widened Between U.S. and Europe, but Only Partly Due to COVID-19

    Among all but oldest age groups, U.S. has higher death rates than five high-income European nations. The new study also found that the gap between the U.S. and the five other nations — England and Wales, France, Germany, Italy and Spain — widened during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the study reveals, only a portion of that phenomenon was directly attributable to COVID-19.

  • One Way to Prevent Pandemics: Don’t Harm or Disturb Bats and Their Habitats

    As the COVID-19 pandemic slowly subsides, focused on how such surges in deaths, illness, and suffering – as well as their economic costs – can be prevented in the future. One basic solution, the authors argue, may lie in a global taboo against harming or disturbing bats and their habitats.

  • Technological Obsolescence

    In addition to killing over a million Americans, Covid-19 revealed embarrassing failures of local, state, and national public health systems to accurately and effectively collect, transmit, and process information. But the important issue is not that many national health systems continued to use fax machines: the better question is “what factors made fax machines more attractive than more capable technologies?” The answer to this question provides a better window into the complex, evolving world of technological obsolescence.

  • Why Scientists Have a Hard Time Getting Money to Study the Root Causes of Outbreaks

    Government and nonprofit groups that award grants to scientists favor research that’s high tech and treatment oriented rather than studies that seek to understand why contagions leap from animals to people in the first place.

  • Architecture After COVID: How the Pandemic Inspired Building Designers

    As a greater awareness of hygiene in cities emerged, urban spaces and buildings were reorganized in order to minimize physical surface contact. The public became afraid or skeptical of touching handrails, door handles, elevator buttons or any leaning support. Architects have had to adapt to these new design priorities and instincts.

  • COVID-19’s Total Cost to the U.S. Economy Will Reach $14 Trillion by End of 2023: New Research

    Putting a price tag on all the pain, suffering and upheaval Americans and people around the world have experienced because of COVID-19 is hard to do. To come up with estimates, researchers used economic modeling to approximate the revenue lost due to mandatory business closures at the beginning of the pandemic, and the cost of the many changes in personal behavior that continued long after the lockdown orders were lifted.

  • Pandemic Preparedness Policy

    A new report from CSET assesses the U.S. preparedness for families of viral pathogens of pandemic potential and offers recommendations for steps the U.S. government can take to prepare for future pandemics.