@Mstyslav Chernov

Two years into this pandemic, the world is dangerously unprepared for the next one, report says

With its vast wealth and scientific capability, the United States held on to its top ranking among 195 countries, even as it scored lowest on public confidence in government — a factor associated with high numbers of cases and deaths

Nearly two years into a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people, every country, including the United States, remains dangerously unprepared to respond to future epidemic and pandemic threats, according to a report released Wednesday assessing the efforts of 195 countries, writes Lena Sun in the Washington Post.

Researchers compiling the Global Health Security Index — a project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a D.C.-based nonprofit global security group, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health — found insufficient capacity in every country, which they said left the world vulnerable to future health emergencies, including some that might be more devastating than covid-19.

The assessment of each country’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to health emergencies in 2021 was based on public information. Researchers also weighed other factors, such as public confidence in government. The average country score for 2021 was 38.9 out of a possible 100 points, essentially unchanged from 2019. No country scored above 75.9.

The United States, with its vast wealth and scientific capability, maintained its top overall ranking — it was also No. 1 when the first index was released in 2019. But the United States also scored lowest on public confidence in government, a key factor associated with high numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths. That factor may explain why other countries that received top marks in 2019 also responded poorly during the pandemic.

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