by Elana Banin, Brandon Ball, Loren Becker et al.
2018 marks the centennial of the deadly influenza pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide – including 675,000 Americans. Despite major advances in public health, medicine, and technology over the past century, America and the world still remain vulnerable; experts predict that a similar influenza pandemic today could kill as many as 50 to 80 million people. Population density and global interconnectedness mean that an outbreak anywhere can quickly become an outbreak everywhere, and the greatest risks may stem from the weakest health systems in the poorest communities around the world. Simply put, the US government can’t adequately safeguard Americans’ health without the assurance that other countries have the right tools, infrastructure, policies, and systems in place to prevent future outbreaks from spiralling out of control.