“It is time to say it out loud: the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away,” reports renowned epidemiologist and pandemics authority Larry Brilliant, MD and his team of top researchers in a just-published article in Foreign Affairs titled “The Forever Virus: A Strategy for the Long Fight Against COVID-19.”
A necessary wake-up call, the article highlights game-changing data, research and intelligence collected by Dr. Brilliant and his colleagues Lisa Danzig, Karen Oppenheimer, Agastya Mondal, Rick Bright (former head of BARDA and Assistant Secretary of Health) and W. Ian Lipkin, noted public health experts who have been focused on eradicating the virus or mitigating its impact since it was discovered. Answering the question, “The virus is here to stay…what do we need to do to ensure that we are, too?” the authors outline a practical strategy for co-existing with it.
Calling on governments and businesses to take the lead, especially U.S. leaders, the authors recommend the approach used to eradicate the smallpox virus in the 70s. That successful effort was led by former head of the CDC, Dr. William Foege, and a team of experts that included Dr. Brilliant, who later went on to help tackle the MERS and SARS viruses in conjunction with the World Health Organization.
Today, as CEO of Pandefense Advisory – a firm that helps organizations respond to COVID-19 – Dr. Brilliant works with business and government leaders on strategies for navigating ongoing uncertainty, keeping organizations and people viable, and preparing for what’s ahead. While news of falling infections has many people celebrating, Brilliant cautions us not to become too complacent since the virus is resurfacing in other parts of the world and new variants need to be better understood.
“Herd immunity won’t save us,” wrote Brilliant in a March 2021 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, “but we can still beat COVID-19.”
Organizational leaders looking for guidance on how to conduct business safely and make informed decisions as the pandemic takes its course will be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable and practical strategist and futurist than Larry Brilliant. Through consulting and keynotes, he offers decision makers a much-needed support system as they make their way to the other side of an era of disruption unlike any they’ve ever seen.