Listen: This man saw the COVID-19 pandemic coming

Healthcare professionals prepare to screen people for the coronavirus at a testing site erected by the Maryland National Guard in a parking lot at FedEx Field March 30, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

While the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic blindsided much of the United States, Gavin Yamey saw it coming.

In early 2018, Yamey, a professor at the Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health based at the Duke Global Health Institute, wrote an op-ed called “The Odds of a Devastating Pandemic Just Went Up.”

” I should say there were many other folks, not just me, within the academic community who, for many years, were worried that we, the international health and development community, were not doing enough,” says Yamey.

“Our approaches, our interventions, our preparedness efforts were not commensurate with the size of the risk. None of us feel any sense of I told you so, none of us are feeling good about the situation, clearly.

“We feel only a hollow pit in our stomachs, when so many of us were sounding the alarm for so many years, those pleas didn’t resonate with those who could have funded a proper pandemic response system, fit for purpose.”

On January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has grown rapidly, and the United States has quickly become the epicenter.

In this podcast, Yamey explains the conditions that primed the US for the COVID-19 pandemic, what we can do now to combat it, and how we can learn from it to prevent future outbreaks:

You can find the transcript for the episode here.

Source: Duke University