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The Five Things to Get Right Before the Next Pandemic

The next epidemiological crisis—and there will be a next one, and another one after that—need not be this bad if we plan ahead.
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Illustration: Book Jackson for Bloomberg Businessweek

In January 2017, a lengthy proposal showed up at the offices of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in Washington. Running 112 pages, the document described a strategy for stopping future pandemics. It outlined a number of vaccine technologies to pursue, including messenger RNA and adenovirus vectors, and recommended that a team of 180 scientists, doctors, and other experts be created to carry out the plan. There were intricate technical details, an org chart, and an estimated cost: $595 million over 10 years.

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