Image: Historical illustration of the Great Plague of London in 1665. Image depicts carts used to transport the dead. Source: WikiCommons
I would be interested in asking the professors of epidemiology Peter Kraft and Immaculata de Vivo: on a structural level, what would it take for society to better tackle public health problems when not in a moment of crisis (such as a global pandemic)?
To explain my question slightly; during the COVID pandemic we saw the massive mobilisation of resources to produce a vaccine extremely expediently, and bring about a massive rollout in many countries. Outside of times of crisis, however, it's rare to see this level of functionality and resource distribution to public health problems, especially when these problems disproportionally impact those generally left-behind in society; folk who are disabled, low-income, living in non-urban areas, immigrants, ethnic minorities, just to name a few. Even with this pandemic and the high level of recognition and attention it has been accorded by all governments around the world , international aid has become an ethical issue, with regards to developing countries being clearly left behind in the vaccine roll out.
Do our existing political and institutional structures adequately look out for most of society and prioritise public health? I know this is a policy issue more than one that is specifically science related, but if not, would reforms be adequate to existing structures or do we need new institutions? What is the relevance of international relations institutions in terms of public health, particularly in terms of data-sharing and global health collaboration?