The Department Population Health Sciences Presents Roundtable Event Discussing COVID-19

The Department of Population Health Sciences introduced a new roundtable series, with the inaugural event taking place on November 17, 2021. “Turning Science into Policy: Masks, Vaccines, and the Wicked Problems of COVID-19” served as a forum for leading experts to discuss timely policy issues around the ongoing pandemic. 

The conversation was moderated by Dr. Jay Varma, director of the Cornell Center for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. He brought a unique perspective with over 20 years of experience working on infectious diseases prevention and control with national and international postings for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before joining the Office of the Mayor of New York City as the former senior advisor for public health.

Dr. Varma was joined by two expert guests. Dr. Celine Gounder, chief executive officer, president, and founder of Just Human Productions and clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, formerly served on the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Task Force and helped make a national transition in pandemic response. Mark Levine, New York City councilmember and chair of the Council Committee on Health, has been an important spokesperson for COVID-19 response and education in New York City. 

Throughout the conversation, the panelists discussed the role of policymakers and healthcare leaders in laying out potential roadmaps to a new normal and how knowledge of the virus has changed over time. They also considered the availability of infectious disease models and the importance of building public trust over time to ensure acceptance when making policies in times of crisis, among other key factors of the pandemic.

Leadership and faculty members of the Department of Population Health Sciences will continue to use roundtable events as an opportunity to engage publicly on current population health and policy issues. The next event will be held in February 2022.

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