The Lancet COVID-19 Commission

The Lancet COVID-19 Commission (Jeffrey D. Sachs and Five Others, The Lancet, July 9, 2019)

The Commission seeks “to help speed up global, equitable, and lasting solutions to the pandemic.”  A key aim is to enhance “awareness and adoption worldwide of successful strategies to suppress transmission.”  Holding its first meeting on June 23, the Commissioners are leaders in health science and delivery, business, politics, and finance from across the world.

The Commission, chaired by Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University’s  Earth Institute, who leads the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, also seeks to meet the dire and pressing needs of vulnerable groups, to prevent the public health emergency from turning into a financial emergency for governments and businesses,  to strengthen the efficacy of critical multilateral institutions on the front lines of responding to the pandemic, and “to build the

world back better, with resilient health systems, global institutions, and economies that are being transformed on the basis of sustainable and inclusive development.”

The Commission will report periodically throughout the pandemic,  and issue a first public statement in September 2020, a first interim report in January 2021, a second interim report in July 2021, and a comprehensive report in January 2022.  During the next 18 months, it will offer policy briefs and background studies, and hold periodic regional and global webinars open to the general public and expert practitioners to generate inputs and feedback.

Note: An ambitious and necessary initiative in global leadership.  This July 19 article is more of a press release than a report, but it points to important forthcoming foresight reports that will synthesize trends and recommendations on many fronts.  ALSO SEE, from Britain’s premier medical journal, Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change (Nov 28, 2018), tracking 41 indicators across five domains and advocating a “global transformation for public health,” and Food in the Anthropocene, the EAT-Lancet Commission report on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems (Jan 16, 2019, 47p), on the urgent need for a global transformation of the food system.

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