Resolve to Save Lives


Our latest op-eds, press releases, and important new stories.

Rendering of the 2019-nCoV virion. Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/REUTERS

Immediate actions countries can take to strengthen their health care workforce

CNN December 7, 2023

The world does not have enough health care workers, and demand for them is growing faster than supply. The World Health Organization projects a gap of 10 million health workers by 2030.

Ongoing cholera pandemic shows need to go back to basics for healthier today and safer tomorrow

CNN June 2, 2023

Measures to prepare for the next pandemic are essential, but controlling the many deadly diseases spreading today—including cholera—is the best way to rapidly protect the world from future threats.

What’s A National Public Health Institute To Do?

Health Affairs December 7, 2022

With the right people, support, scope, independence, relationships, and funding, National Public Health Institutes can protect health and greatly accelerate health progress. Effective action depends on whether public health entities and leaders have sufficient information, power, and authority to act promptly and effectively within a country’s governmental system.

Investing in global health security: Estimating cost requirements for country-level capacity building

PLOS December 5, 2022

Financing for preparedness and response is critical for both ongoing COVID-19 response and to prepare for the next pandemic. Over five years, an estimated US$124 billion is needed to reach “demonstrated capacity” on each indicator of the JEE for each of the 196 States Parties to the International Health Regulations (IHR). These findings, and the data generated by this effort, provide cost estimates to inform ongoing health security financing discussions at the global level and highlight the significant need for sustainable financing mechanisms for both workforce development and ongoing support for the health and public health workforce.

Lessons from past outbreaks can stop new epidemics in their tracks

CNN November 4, 2022

Our Epidemics That Didn’t Happen case studies demonstrate what can happen – and what won’t happen – when countries invest in and prioritize preparedness so they are ready to act quickly and strategically when outbreaks strike.

Public Trust Can Make or Break Government Response to Public Health Crisis

GLOBAL HEALTH NOW October 16, 2022

Our data shows that the strength of people’s trust in their health leaders can determine how a country will fare in a pandemic. For example, we found that people were more likely to take protective actions like washing hands and wearing masks if they trusted their health institutions and government leaders. For Global Health Now, Amanda McClelland, Senior Vice President at Prevent Epidemics and Nandita Murukutla, Vice President of Global Policy and Research at Vital Strategies deliver five recommendations for policymakers to strengthen institutions, build public trust and enable stronger responses to public health crises.

Interactive Report Shows How Countries Prevent Global Epidemics by Stopping Infectious Diseases at the Start

Prevent Epidemics October 11, 2022

Second Edition of ‘Epidemics That Didn’t Happen’ from Resolve to Save Lives Highlights Need for Continued Investment in Health Security

Preparing for Pandemics and Other Health Threats Societal Approaches to Protect and Improve Health

JAMA Viewpoint October 10, 2022

There are three big lessons from COVID-19. In a JAMA Viewpoint, Dr. Tom Frieden and Amanda McClelland discuss how focusing on the 3 Rs — a renaissance in public health, robust primary care, and resilient communities — will not only improve preparedness for the next epidemic threat, but improve health and save lives in the interim.

Three Solutions for Public Health—And One Dangerous Idea

The Atlantic August 31, 2022

The CDC has been the flagship of public health for three generations, and the world is counting on the U.S. to restore the institution. Fixing the agency requires accurate diagnosis, appropriate prescriptions for change, and persistence in seeing needed changes through to actual implementation.

Learn From International Peers to Prevent Future Outbreaks

US News August 26, 2022

What can we learn from countries that performed better in limiting the health and societal harms of COVID-19?

Investing in health workers can help close the vaccination gap — and improve global health

STAT News August 19, 2022

Directing funds to hire, train, and protect health workers around the world supports childhood vaccination efforts in three key ways.

National and local capacity key for Africa pandemic response

Devex June 24, 2022

When a country owns its health security agenda, informed by the needs of its communities, it leads to stronger preparedness globally — not the other way around.

Preventing the Next Epidemic: Seven African Countries and Resolve to Save Lives Outline Specific, Practical Steps to Strengthen Epidemic Preparedness at the Country Level

Prevent Epidemics May 24, 2022

Experience demonstrates that rapid improvement of country-level preparedness is possible and is essential for stronger global health security

Confronting an Invisible Enemy in Ukraine

Think Global Health April 21, 2022

There is an acute possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will prolong or worsen COVID-19 in the region and open a pathway for other preventable diseases to spread rapidly.

The Next Covid Wave Is Probably Already on Its Way

The New York Times March 22, 2022

We must be clear-eyed about fixing a system that has been underfunded for decades. It’s going to take years, resources and improved authorities — with accountability and transparency — for the U.S. to have the modern and secure public health information network needed to protect Americans

Former CDC directors: Coordinating our nation’s health data will save lives

The Hill March 10, 2022

We must be clear-eyed about fixing a system that has been underfunded for decades. It’s going to take years, resources and improved authorities — with accountability and transparency — for the U.S. to have the modern and secure public health information network needed to protect Americans

Making — and muddling — the case for mask and vaccine mandates

CNN February 25, 2022

Recommendations for mandates should be explicit and realistic about both the benefit of any mandate and the burden on those mandated to change their behavior.

Moderna and Pfizer’s ethical duties go beyond just creating vaccines

The Hill February 22, 2022

Pfizer and Moderna must transfer technology so that sufficient quantities of tweaked vaccines can be made to immunize the world in six months.

Why I’m cautiously optimistic about Covid-19

CNN February 1, 2022

Far, far too many lives have been lost to Covid, and it’s not over yet. But we can learn the lessons from the past two years and work together to create a safer world where, instead of adding to fear of contagion, the connections among us strengthen our health, our economy and our common community.

Don’t underestimate Omicron — especially if you’re unvaccinated

CNN January 21, 2022

If we work together, we can minimize the impact of Omicron and be in better position to handle whatever Covid-19 or another health threat throws at us next.

Why the Global Fund must take on pandemic preparedness

Devex January 6, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed flaws in the ability of our global health architecture to prevent and respond to pandemic threats. In a momentous evolution, which may have gone unnoticed amid other debates, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria made pandemic preparedness and response part of its evolving mandate upon adopting its new strategy in November.

Fight Covid by learning so we can roll with the punches: 7 lessons for 2022

CNN December 20, 2021

It’s been two years since Covid emerged, one year since vaccine distribution began, and one month since Omicron upended hopes for a winter of recovery. As we move into a new year, here are seven life-saving lessons from 2021 that can get us closer to ending the pandemic.

New report on COVID-19 in Africa shows widespread willingness to get vaccinated, underscoring need for consistent supply and additional logistical support

Prevent Epidemics December 16, 2021

Individual COVID-19 preventive measures, such as handwashing and wearing masks, mark the path forward in protecting people while vaccine efforts scale up

Former CDC director: What’s next with Omicron and the pandemic?

CNN December 7, 2021

There’s a lot we don’t know yet about Omicron, and definitive answers to the most important questions will likely take weeks or longer. The most valuable resource we need to live well and prosper in the age of Covid is timely, accurate information, accurately interpreted and appropriately acted on.

Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines are our best chance to end this pandemic. Break up their duopoly.

The Washington Post October 12, 2021

Failure to ramp up vaccine production now could cost lives and prolong the pandemic. The best way to avoid that is to break up the duopoly that Moderna and Pfizer maintain over mRNA vaccines.

This is what we owe the world’s health and care workers, who put their lives on the line for us

CNN October 3, 2021

Vaccinating all health and care workers globally is both a moral and practical imperative; prioritizing these workers makes all of us safer.

I Ran the C.D.C. Here’s How to Prove That Americans Are Vaccinated.

The New York Times September 21, 2021

Dr. Tom Frieden discusses five requirements for an accurate, secure and universal COVID-19 vaccination system.

The Delta Variant and Beyond: Learning to Live With Covid

The Wall Street Journal August 13, 2021

Cases are dramatically up again, but simple protective measures can still control the disease if we deploy them flexibly. In the long run, Covid may help us to recognize that many deadly and expensive health threats are optional. We can choose to adopt programs and policies that can relegate to history many of the infections and conditions that today drive up health care costs and drive down productivity and life expectancy.

Delta is dangerous and spreading — but vaccination can stop it

CNN July 23, 2021

Variants remain the wild card for the trajectory of the pandemic. Vaccination, masks, ventilation and physical distancing can stop Covid, including Delta.

After 2020, pandemic preparedness budget cuts should be unthinkable

The Hill July 20, 2021

Despite the unspeakable toll COVID-19 has taken on our families and communities, Congress may slash President Biden’s proposal in the American Jobs Plan for pandemic preparedness funding. We should be doing all we can to prevent anything like COVID-19 from ever happening again.

We cannot afford another India—to prevent a catastrophic third wave of COVID-19 in Africa, look at data to drive the response

CNBC Africa June 6, 2021

Although the light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel is visible in certain parts of the world, it remains dim across much of Africa. Governments must be vigilant in their continued fight against the disease and use data to find the balance between public health measures and the indirect burdens they pose.

Taming the world’s leading killer: high blood pressure

CNN June 1, 2021

High blood pressure is the world’s leading killer — and will kill more people, including more young people, than Covid-19. High blood pressure can be prevented, mostly by reducing dietary sodium, and is effectively treated with safe, low-cost medications. Lowering blood pressure is the intervention that can save more lives than any other health care intervention in the US. We know what we need to do, now let’s make it happen.

Former CDC director: Direct Covid-19 vaccines to where they’re needed most

CNN May 16, 2021

We’re starting to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control, at least in some parts of the world, but the pandemic won’t be over until most of the world is vaccinated. Access to vaccines continues to be a huge challenge.

New report on COVID-19 in Africa shows impact of COVID-19 on African continent has been underestimated

Prevent Epidemics May 12, 2021

Urgent, strategic action is needed in light of limited vaccine and the mounting threat of new variants.

Don’t be blinded by the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel

CNN May 2, 2021

Although we’re closer to resuming normal life in the United States, globally the end of the pandemic is far away. With new surges in India and Brazil, we can’t be blinded by the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel in the US. The virus and variants remain a risk.

Former CDC director: We can prevent the next pandemic

CNN April 27, 2021

This is our now-or-never moment to invest in public health, to prevent the next pandemic, and to ensure that the world is never again so underprepared. Epidemics don’t have to happen.

New Report Shows How Countries Successfully Beat Infectious Disease Outbreaks Before They Became Epidemics

Prevent Epidemics April 27, 2021

Epidemics That Didn’t Happen: First-of-Its-Kind Interactive Report from Resolve to Save Lives Highlights Global Epidemic Response Successes

We Can Stop Epidemics Before They Happen. Here’s How.

Aspen Ideas April 22, 2021

Far too often, we highlight the failures. But just as noteworthy are the successes—the disease outbreaks that were swiftly and effectively contained.

Former CDC chief: Think diners, dentists and dollar stores. Make COVID vaccines easy to get.

USA Today April 16, 2021

A single well-targeted vaccination can save 10 times more lives and prevent 100 times more cases than vaccinating a low-risk person in a low-risk community.

Why Even Well Prepared Countries Failed the Pandemic Test

Foreign Affairs March 29, 2021

COVID-19 has posed the ultimate test—not just of health systems but of governance. The last year’s deadly and expensive test revealed that governments that work well with limited tools do better than those that work poorly with the best tools.

The U.S. Has the Power to Tamp Down Coronavirus Variants — If We’re Willing to Use It

POLITICO March 2, 2021

The United States has the power to tamp down coronavirus variants and become a global public health leader through technology transfer, investment, and knowledge sharing.

Now or Never: a letter from Dr. Tom Frieden

Resolve to Save Lives March 1, 2021

In his Annual Letter, President and CEO Dr. Tom Frieden writes how simplicity, speed, and scale have defined Resolve to Save Lives’ response to COVID-19 and our fight against cardiovascular disease.

New Campaign Encourages Ethiopians To Cut Salt Consumption in Half And Prevent Unhealthy Diets

Prevent Epidemics February 17, 2021

High Salt Consumption Puts Ethiopians at Risk of Heart Disease and Death

How to Become the Public Health President

Health Affairs February 16, 2021

President Biden can become the ‘public health president’ by implementing ambitious public health policies.

Will we be ready for the next pandemic?

The Wall Street Journal February 12, 2021

The world must learn the lessons of COVID-19 to implement readiness systems and policies that are prepare us for the next infectious disease that could be even deadlier than COVID-19.

Saving Black lives from COVID: Churches’ new testing and vaccination push

NY Daily News February 11, 2021

The Choose Healthy Life Action Plan can help fight COVID-19 and reduce vaccine hesitancy in Black communities by using community churches as testing and vaccination centers.

Comprehensive Review of COVID-19 Vaccine Data Provides Roadmap to Improve US Rollout

Prevent Epidemics February 2, 2021

Latest Guidance from Resolve to Save Lives Outlines How States and Jurisdictions Can Increase Transparency and Efficiency in Vaccination Data Reporting Nationwide

Food Fight: Fighting for Healthier Food is a Life-or-Death Struggle

Think Global Health January 28, 2021

Governments should build resilient populations by protecting them from nutrition-related diseases.

See Covid-19 Risk in Your County and a Guide for Daily Life Near You

The New York Times January 28, 2021

Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, teamed with Johns Hopkins University and The New York Times to publish county-specific guidance for common activities to help you lower your personal risk of getting Covid-19 and to help you protect your community.

How we can keep health care workers safe

CNN January 24, 2021

Keeping health workers safe is not just a moral imperative — it is a practical one as well. Our lives depend on it.

The CDC was damaged by marginalization and politicization. This is how Biden can fix it.

NBC News January 14, 2021

The Biden Administration can help build back public trust in the CDC after it has been marginalized and politicized over the past four years.

Protecting our health care workers: how we can prevent epidemics from taking out our front line

Prevent Epidemics January 14, 2021

Resolve to Save Lives convenes global public health leaders in recommending new actions to protect health care workers.

Which Countries Have Responded Best to Covid-19?

The Wall Street Journal January 1, 2021

The world should learn from the most successful strategies for testing, quarantine, public communication and economic support.

How to reopen the economy safely? Immunity passports.

Washington Post December 21, 2020

As more and more people are vaccinated, it’s time to carefully design a system of “immunity passports.”

How to Handle the Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough the Right Way

The Wall Street Journal December 4, 2020

Effective vaccine roll out and distribution plans will help us in our fight against the virus around the country.

Despite Improvement, Most Essential COVID-19 Data Still Not Available for U.S. States

Prevent Epidemics November 16, 2020

Resolve to Save Lives released their second comprehensive review of COVID-19 information available to the public at the state level, mapping states’ progress toward reporting key COVID-19 indicators and providing actionable steps for improvement.

Ex-CDC Chief Frieden: COVID-19 –Protect vulnerable, let virus spread to the young? Why it’s a terrible plan

Fox News October 19, 2020

There’s a mistaken and dangerous idea spreading like a virus – that we can let COVID spread among young, healthy people as long as we protect the vulnerable. The idea is appealing but it would backfire.

The path to ‘herd immunity’ would be lined with half a million dead Americans

Washington Post October 18, 2020

As the covid-19 pandemic continues in the United States and many parts of the world, millions of Americans are increasingly impatient for the economy and society to regain a more normal footing.

Statement from Dr. Tom Frieden on President Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis

Prevent Epidemics October 2, 2020

My thoughts are with the President, First Lady, their family and all those infected with and affected by this virus. This is a reminder that COVID-19 is an ongoing threat to our country and can happen to anyone.

Statement from Dr. Tom Frieden on the death of 200,000 Americans from COVID-19

Prevent Epidemics September 22, 2020

Every one of the 200,000 Americans killed by COVID-19 is a tragedy, and most of these deaths did not have to happen.

Striking a balance: Public health and social measures in Africa

Daily Maverick September 2, 2020

Finding the balance between limiting disease transmission, maintaining access to critical services and supporting livelihoods is the public health challenge of this century.

Masks work. Now we need to pay attention to when and where, and which kind.

Washington Post August 27, 2020

If we all wear a mask when we’re around others, we’ll all be safer. That has been clear for five months. Masks are a simple, low-cost way to protect lives and livelihoods during this pandemic.

New Report Provides Policy Guidance to Promote Widespread Mask-Wearing to Help Contain COVID-19

Prevent Epidemics August 27, 2020

As scientific understanding of COVID-19 has evolved, the importance of mask-wearing has become clear. Today we released a new report, “Promoting mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic: a policymaker’s guide,” to help communities design and implement evidence-based strategies to promote widespread and correct use of masks.

Essential Indicator Availability by State Matrix

Prevent Epidemics August 6, 2020

Tracking COVID-19 in the United States: From Information Catastrophe to Empowered Communities

We Searched for Covid-19 Data. Here’s What We Couldn’t Find.

New York Times July 21, 2020

Fifteen things we need to know about the coronavirus, by Tom Frieden and Cyrus Shahpar.

Most of United States Not Reporting Essential COVID-19 Data

Prevent Epidemics July 21, 2020

After five months of attempting to control COVID-19, the United States has emerged as one the worst-performing countries in the world, with one in four of all global COVID deaths occurring in the US and a death rate that is among the world’s worst.

We ran the CDC. No president ever politicized its science the way Trump has.

Washington Post July 14, 2020

As America begins the formidable task of getting our kids back to school and all of us back to work safely amid a pandemic that is only getting worse, public health experts face two opponents: covid-19, but also political leaders and others attempting to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health and Education Experts Weigh in on How Schools Can Maximize Health and Safety as They Look to Reopen

Prevent Epidemics July 8, 2020

Dr. Tom Frieden, Former CDC Director and Resolve to Save Lives President, joined by bipartisan former U.S. Secretaries of Education Margaret Spellings and Arne Duncan and Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr. to urge Americans to work together and support our children so schools can open more safely in the Fall.

Will Rollback of Public Health Measures Affect COVID-19 Spread? New Simulator Demonstrates How

Prevent Epidemics July 1, 2020

Experts from Resolve to Save Lives and Earthrise Media developed a simulator to help guide national decisions on public health and social measures, including stay-at-home orders.

New Study Spotlights Critical Gap In Health Security: Protecting Health Care Workers

Prevent Epidemics June 24, 2020

Researchers from Resolve to Save Lives and Johns Hopkins University identify practical steps countries can take to protect health workers, curb COVID-19 and prepare for future epidemics.

Bloomberg Philanthropies COVID-19 Global Response Initiative Supports 31 African Countries to Expand Their Pandemic Containment and Provides Training for Nearly 6,000 Healthcare Workers

Prevent Epidemics June 17, 2020

In the three months since Bloomberg Philanthropies launched its $40 million COVID-19 Global Response Initiative, with partner Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, 31 countries in Africa have been able to deepen and expand their public health efforts to minimize the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Contact Tracing Playbook Provides Guidance to Public Health Officials on Nationwide Efforts to Contain COVID-19

Prevent Epidemics June 16, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic response in the United States moves to a new stage of containment, Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, announced the release of a new Contact Tracing Playbook to help cities, states, and counties establish trusted and effective contact tracing programs that will reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

Inside a pandemic, advancing Ethiopia’s healthcare

New Business Ethiopia June 13, 2020

Up to now, Ethiopia has evaded the worst of the coronavirus pandemic—but that may be changing. What for two months was just a trickle of reported cases of infection is swelling into what could become a flood.

Former CDC Director and Resolve to Save Lives President and CEO, Dr. Tom Frieden, Warns of COVID-19 Data Myths and Misuses, Outlines Metrics that Matter

Prevent Epidemics June 11, 2020

With the exponential rise in collection of COVID-19 data, experts warn of its misuse. Today, Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC Director and President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies, held a press briefing along with other epidemiology experts, outlining COVID-19 data misconceptions and metrics that matter to guide public health officials.

5 ways to prevent another 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the US (and beyond)

Vox May 27, 2020

As we hit a gruesome milestone — 100,000 reported deaths from the novel coronavirus in the United States — we must focus on the single most important part of the response: saving the most lives.

Revealing the Toll of COVID-19: New Guidance Helps Governments Uncover the True Scale of the Pandemic

Vital Strategies May 21, 2020

In the months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, two indicators have emerged as paramount to coordinating an effective response: the number of cases and the number of deaths, as reported on national and global dashboards.

Dr. Tom Frieden: Coronavirus alert levels — here’s how to recover our economy without risking lives

Fox News May 20, 2020

If you’ve lived on a coast during hurricane season, driven in a big city with heavy smog, or hiked in woods prone to wildfires, you may have seen a simple color-coded alert. At a glance, it told you if a hidden danger was present that affected you and others — an approaching storm, harmful air pollution, or dry brush ready to burn.

COVID Alert System Protects Health, Promotes Economic Growth and Reduces the Risks of Reopening During the COVID Pandemic

Prevent Epidemics May 20, 2020

COVID-19 is a long-term threat to public health, with most experts predicting waves of infection until there is a vaccine or highly effective treatment. “Staying Alert: Navigating COVID-19 Risk Toward a New Normal” recommends that governments implement a four-tiered, color-coded level system that grades the current state of risk from red, “4-Very High Risk,” to green, “1-New Normal.” The report was released today by Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies, based on an intensive review of the best practices in countries around the world and states in the U.S.

We need to enter the fifth stage of coronavirus grief: Acceptance

Washington Post May 14, 2020

The five stages of grief provide a useful framework for thinking about crises caused by the pandemic. Although the concept sometimes oversimplifies a complex process, there are core truths: People tend to accept harsh realities gradually and with difficulty.

A Call for Global Solidarity

Think Global Health May 13, 2020

More than ever, we live behind walls. In our homes, we stare at them, desperately wanting to leave. Our shops, workplaces and schools are shuttered.

Technology companies can help fight Covid-19

CNN May 13, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is a global, all-hands-on-deck moment. Every day, it asks a great deal from all of us, from policymakers and epidemiologists to health care professionals to every person who stays at home to protect others.

Only Saving Lives Will Save Livelihoods

Foreign Affairs May 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus has spread widely around the world, overwhelming health-care systems and killing hundreds of thousands of people. But fatigue with stay-at-home orders and the consequences of a sudden freeze in economic activity have brought diminished focus on the human cost of the disease.

To beat COVID-19 in Africa, we must find a balance

Ventures May 11, 2020

When Ebola exploded in West Africa in 2015, communities across Africa worked together to contain the disease and learned firsthand the importance of acting early. Although they faced myriad challenges, governments and their partners were able to form an organized effort to successfully contain the virus.

Lockdown Is a Blunt Tool. We Have a Sharper One.

New York Times May 5, 2020

We’ve been dealt a bad hand with the coronavirus pandemic. Until we have a vaccine or effective treatment, we have limited tools to fight it.

New Interactive Playbook Provides Critical Tool for World’s Public Health Decision-makers to Manage and Adapt COVID-19 Responses

Prevent Epidemics April 22, 2020

The Prevent Epidemics Team at Resolve to Save Lives announced today the launch of their new interactive COVID-19 Playbook, a resource to help public health policymakers and other decision-makers around the world manage and adapt their countries’ COVID-19 responses as they move through different phases of the disease curve—from response to recovery.

Former CDC Director and Resolve to Save Lives President and CEO, Dr. Tom Frieden, Releases Detailed Action Plan to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic and Gradually Reopen Society

Prevent Epidemics April 17, 2020

As states roll out plans to gradually re-open society,Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC Director and President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of global health organization Vital Strategies, today released a detailed report outlining critical actions governments and society must commit to – and invest in – to get ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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