Commission aims to offer solutions to COVID-19 challenges

The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, launched in July 2020 to offer governments, civil society, and U.N. institutions practical solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, outlined the global challenges posed by the crisis—and the broad-scale work that needs to be done to suppress it—in a statement published in the Lancet on September 14.

Authors of the statement included two Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health faculty members who are serving as commissioners for the Lancet effort. Joseph Allen, associate professor of exposure assessment science, is chair of the commission’s Safe Work, Safe Schools, and Safe Travel task force. Muhammad Ali Pate, global director of the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice at the World Bank and Julio Frenk Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership in Harvard Chan School’s Department of Global Health and Population, is co-chair of the commission’s Global Health Diplomacy and Cooperation task force.

The statement addressed numerous topics and offered recommendations. For example, the authors urged that the pandemic be suppressed through both pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical interventions; recommended that governments prioritize advice from public health professionals; and noted that inequities exacerbated by the pandemic must be addressed.

In addition, the authors stressed the need to gather comprehensive data about the pandemic’s impact, meet the urgent fiscal needs of developing countries, and ensure global justice in access to safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and equipment.

Read the Lancet Commission statement: Lancet COVID-19 Commission Statement on the occasion of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly