One Pandemic, a Globe of Different Responses

WED, AUG 11, 2021 (1:10:22)

When COVID-19 initially began to rage across the globe, it was described as an equal opportunity killer that didn’t differentiate between hosts; everyone was vulnerable. It quickly became apparent that not everyone was impacted in the same way. While the virus itself does not discriminate, our responses to it – geographically, socioeconomically, and politically – have resulted in vastly different outcomes. The past 18 months have exposed massive inequalities at both the national and international levels when it comes to combating the virus.

This expert panel examines some of the most disappointing and surprising developments in COVID responsiveness and asks essential questions to better understand what role resources, ideology and geography have played in creating such divergent responses. They also discuss what can be done to level the playing field going forward.


Check out this Percent of Population Fully Vaccinated by Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) interactive map, published by the CDC.

More from Kaiser Health’s Lauren Weber

“Wealthy Countries Have Left the Rest of the World Behind” By Rajan Menon, 06/22/2021

“Covid-19 Is Revealing America’s Fault Lines” By Rajan Menon, 04/20/2020

“The defining moments of the COVID-19 pandemic” By the IPPR, 2021

“One big question about the end of Covid-19” by Mark Dybul, 05/23/2021

“The Case for Investing in Public Health” , by the European Health Organization, 2020,

+ BIO: Cate Oswald

Cate Oswald, Chief Policy and Partnership Officer, Partners In Health (PIH)
In this role Cate leads a team with a mandate to drive global strategy for PIH’s policy, advocacy, government accompaniment, and institutional partnerships efforts, working hand-in-hand with global leaders on how the work of PIH strengthens the efforts of local, district and national governments and how that work translates into redefining how high quality health care is delivered globally. Cate is a passionate advocate for universal health care, for social justice and global health equity which her previous years of working and living in Haiti and Liberia with PIH have informed. Cate has extensive experience working on issues of social justice locally in Rhode Island and Massachusetts through homeless rights initiatives, especially in access to nutrition, housing, and health care. Internationally, Cate has worked in Sub Saharan Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific on initiatives aimed at understanding the social context of disease while working hand-in-hand with communities and governments to improve health outcomes and fight for structural change. She earned her MPH in Epidemiology and Program Design and a BA in International Development and Community Health from Brown University and for the past 15 years has served as a course leader and instructor in Brown University’s Leadership Institute Global Health program.

+ BIO: Rajan Menon

Rajan Menon holds the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair in Political Science at the City College of New York/City University of New York and is a Senior Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University and a Global Ethics Fellow at the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs.

+ BIO: Lauren Weber

Lauren Weber, Midwest correspondent for Kaiser Health News, is covering how America’s health system is working — and not working — for patients in that region. Based in St. Louis, her hometown, she tackles everything from rural hospital closures to health system consolidation to state and national reform promises made on the 2020 campaign trail.

+ BIO: The Honorable Mark Dybul, MD

The Honorable Mark Dybul, MD, is the Senior Advisor for the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. He is also a Chair and Fellow with the Joep Lange Institute.

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