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Public Health

Public Health Grand Rounds at the Aspen Institute presents Coronavirus: The New Pandemic?

A discussion on the emerging coronavirus and the threat it poses.

  • Anthony Fauci, MD, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Ron Klain, JD, former White House Ebola Response Coordinator
  • Nancy Messonnier, MD, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Moderator: Helen Branswell, Infectious Disease and Public Health Reporter, STAT News
“We’re past ‘if’ on the coronavirus. We’re on to ‘how bad will it be?’”

— Ronald A. Klain, Washington Post op-ed

The first reports of a novel coronavirus emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan as 2019 drew to a close. Barely a month later, nearly 21,000 cases of the respiratory illness had been confirmed in two dozen countries. The virus, which comes from the same family as SARS, has killed more than 400 people and arrived in the United States. The World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency and the toll is certain to climb further. How bad will it get, how dangerous is it, and are we prepared?

Anthony S. Fauci, MD, has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He oversees a research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established and emerging infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, Ebola, and Zika. Advisor to six presidents, Fauci was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under President George W. Bush, a program that has saved millions of lives in the developing world.

Ronald A. Klain, JD, is executive vice president and general counsel of Revolution, LLC, an investment firm that manages over $2 billion in assets. He served as Ebola Response Coordinator under President Obama, who praised him for taking on “a challenge that many called insurmountable.” In addition to his private sector career, Klain served as a senior White House aide to Obama, responsible for implementing the Recovery Act, and as chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.

Nancy Messonnier, MD, is director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is responsible for overseeing the center that prevents disease, disability, and death through immunization and by control of respiratory diseases, like influenza. Since beginning her public health career in 1995 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, she has held leadership positions across the CDC and headed cross-cutting laboratory, global health, and surveillance initiatives.

Helen Branswell is the infectious diseases and public health reporter at STAT News. She comes from the Canadian Press, where she was the medical reporter for 15 years. Helen cut her infectious diseases teeth during Toronto’s SARS outbreak in 2003 and spent the summer of 2004 embedded at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Event information
Tue Feb 11, 2020
12:00pm - 1:30pm EDT
Gildenhorn Conference Room 7th Floor
Aspen Institute
Washington, DC