We were very privileged to co-host four highly distinguished panelists discussing the state and the outlook of pandemic management and preparedness in both countries and beyond. The panel consisted of well-known public health leaders Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute and Loyce Pace, Global Affairs Director at the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as top executives in the pharmaceutical industry Stefan Oschmann, CEO of Merck KGaA Darmstadt and Richard Moscicki, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President at PhRMA.
The German Ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, opened the event, and Katharina Janus, professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, moderated the insightful and honest discussion.
All panelists emphasized the power of unprecedented collaboration across countries, between public health agencies and industry, and across individual companies during the current response and in continued preparedness for Covid-19 mutations, new surges or another pandemic in the (hopefully distant) future. Crucial for successful management and preparedness is the reliance on experts and evidence, the importance of innovation and realistic communication, as well as the resilience of communities and each individual’s compliance with containment measures. Only a few countries have managed successful containment measures, and Germany and the US are not among them so far. Nevertheless, our panelists emphasized the opportunity to continually learn from each other and the strong willingness for continued cooperation in order to move into a brighter future for everyone.
This panel discussion was a collaboration of GABA, the German American Business Council of Boston, the German Consulates of San Francisco and Boston, and presented under the auspices of the German Embassy in Washington. D.C.