By Andrew Arking, Sam Bents, Mansi Totwani, and Allen Kong
In nearly every part of the globe, one thing has dominated news channels and public discourse for the majority of 2020: COVID-19. As both the number of COVID-19 cases and global panic grew at the start of 2020, the American public looked primarily to one organization for guidance: the Centers for Disease Control, also known as the CDC. For the past 74 years, this agency has been seen as the echelon of public health guidance, and, today, it is America’s “premiere health promotion, prevention, and preparedness agency.” In order to understand the role of this organization in what can now be seen as a failure to control the spread of the virus that has led to the death of more than 216,000 people, we analyze the CDC through the lens of a historical, biological, political, and social perspective.
The CDC and COVID-19 cannot be studied in isolation: as with most issues in the arena of global health, it is important to contextualize the way that epidemiology and public health guidelines are inseparable from political pressure, public perception, and structural violence impacting various demographics in our population. The way we as a society balance these interests have real implications and if nothing else, we want to say that human lives must be taken seriously no matter the political outcome.
Meet the group! From top to bottom and left to right: Sam Bents, Mansi Totwani, Allen Kong, Andrew Arking
Access to Group Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bjQlonxujUEu_2Exe15CMC2j4dbtyKeHx-Y1tcDDD1s/edit?usp=sharing