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Struggling with scale: Ebola’s lessons for the next pandemic
The next global pandemic is a matter of when, not if. Preparing for this inevitability requires that policymakers understand not just the science of limiting disease transmission or engineering a drug, but also the practical challenges of expanding a response strategy to a regional or global level. Achieving success at such scales is largely an issue of operational, strategic, and policy choices—areas of pandemic preparedness that remain underexplored.
This report explores the lessons of the Ebola outbreak through the lens of the US and UN policymakers who were forced to construct an unprecedented response in real time. It tells the story of their choices around four major policy challenges:
- Operationalizing the US government response
- Balancing the politics and the science of travel restrictions
- Defining the role of a reluctant military
- Coordinating complex international partnerships