Find our latest op-eds, press releases, and important new stories below

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

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

Resolve to Save Lives 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

Resolve to Save Lives 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

Resolve to Save Lives 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

Resolve to Save Lives 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

Resolve to Save Lives 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

Resolve to Save Lives 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

Resolve to Save Lives May 20, 2020

Dr. Tom Frieden on new COVID Alert System to Protect Health, Promote Economic Growth and Reduce the Risks of Reopening During the COVID Pandemic

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 Report Provides African Governments Real-Time Information and Guidance to Find the Balance in COVID-19 Response

Resolve to Save Lives May 5, 2020

Member states across Africa responded quickly to COVID-19 with public health and social measures (PHSM), including curfews and lockdowns, as well as training in laboratory diagnostics, surveillance, risk communication, infection prevention and control, and case management conducted by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners. Implementing these early policies helped curb the rapid spread of infection across the continent, but response to the virus is a marathon, not a sprint. Countries now must find a balance between reducing transmission while preventing social and economic disruption.

Drs. Frieden and Shahpar: Coronavirus testing 1, 2, 3 – it’s time for plain talk on what’s next

Fox News April 27, 2020

We have nowhere near enough tests, and it’s not clear how many week or months away we are from having them. Facts are stubborn things, and so is math.

Matter of Fact with Soledad O’brien: Reopening the country

Matter of Fact April 25, 2020

Millions of Americans have now filed for unemployment for the fifth week in a row as thousands of businesses have been forced to close their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, some governors are beginning to reopen parts of their states in an effort to mitigate some of the financial fallout. Yet, infectious disease experts are warning both President Trump and state leaders to take it slow. Soledad O’Brien speaks to Dr. Tom Frieden, President/CEO of Resolve to Save Lives and the former Director of the CDC.

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

Resolve to Save Lives April 24, 2020

Online tool synthesizes guidance documents and best practices from WHO, US CDC, and Africa CDC and links them to where countries are in the disease curve.

COVID-19 Update: How to reopen society soon and safely

Council on Foreign Relations April 23, 2020

Speakers, including Dr. Tom Frieden, discuss the measures necessary to eventually reopen the country to public life, including the proliferation of contact tracing and increased, widespread testing.

Virtual Media Briefing with Dr. Tom Frieden: An Overview of Box It In

Resolve to Save Lives April 17, 2020

As states rollout plans to gradually re-open society, Dr. Frieden discusses four essential actions that governments must commit to – and invest in – now to re-open society as soon and as safely as possible and prevent another explosive spread of the COVID-19.

Drs. Frieden and Dooley: Coronavirus reopening – We must do these 4 things to avoid a COVID-19 resurgence

Fox News April 17, 2020

On a Tuesday in March, 60 members of a choir in Skagit County, Washington State, gathered for rehearsal. All were feeling well, and the session went as usual.

Facebook Live with Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan and Dr. Tom Frieden

Facebook April 14, 2020

Live with Mark, Priscilla and Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the CDC, to talk about how we can contain the spread of Covid-19 and the steps we should take to re-open society.

I Used to Run the C.D.C. Here’s What It Can Do to Slow This Pandemic.

The New York Times April 12, 2020

On Jan. 26, our country’s top public health expert on viral respiratory diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in discussing the coronavirus then ravaging China, “We need to be preparing as if this is a pandemic.” A month later, she warned, “The disruption to everyday life might be severe.” Imagine how different the world would be today if the administration had heeded these words.

Coronavirus: Facing the fear in everyday activities like getting the mail and shopping

USA Today April 9, 2020

With COVID-19 spreading, we’re hearing from people around the country worried about what they can do to protect themselves. Some of these concerns are understandable, but misplaced: the new virus is not going to seep into your house and infect you from open windows.

Virology in the time of coronavirus: What a difference a month makes — and the most important questions we still need to answer

CNN April 9, 2020

A month ago, I detailed 19 critical gaps in our knowledge of how we can best respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. This past month, we have learned an amazing amount and have made progress answering 13 of these important questions.

A New Normal With COVID-19: The Next Steps We Must Take

Think Global Health April 8, 2020

I remember playing hide-and-seek when I was a young child, crouching under the suits and on top of my father’s shoes in the corner of a musty closet. I was delighted in not being found, but crouching in the confined space got old fast.

All Focus Must Turn to Health Care Workers Now

Think Global Health April 7, 2020

It will be months, if not years, before we have the perspective to tell the story of COVID-19—to fully account for the number of lives lost and to comprehend the extent to which the pandemic disrupted our societies, our economies, and our lives. But one thing that is already clear is that the story’s protagonist heroes will be the health care workers of the world.

Former CDC Chief Tom Frieden: Coronavirus – These simple steps can make a real difference

Fox News April 3, 2020

We’ve heard it over and over: Wash your hands. Stay home. Physical distancing and proper hygiene are not high-tech or exciting, but they remain the best and simplest ways to protect yourself and your family and to stop the spread of coronavirus in your community. Additionally, most of the steps are free.

Former CDC head on coronavirus testing: What went wrong and how we proceed

USA Today April 1, 2020

A series of errors with lab testing delayed the U.S. response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We need to be clear about what went wrong and how we can get things right.

Clear Criteria Must Be Met Before Gradually Reopening After COVID-19 Outbreaks

Resolve to Save Lives April 1, 2020

Resolve to Save Lives Public Health experts Dr. Tom Frieden, Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, and Amanda McClelland, RN briefed reporters on benchmarks that communities in the United States and world must urgently reach before we can “loosen the faucet” as safely as possible and “not allow the floodgates to reopen”

Drs. Frieden and Dooley: Coronavirus safety tips — 6 simple ways to stay healthy

Fox News March 31, 2020

Watching the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grow can make you feel helpless. And although we all need to take steps to stay safe, some people have become needlessly fearful.

Former CDC Chief Dr. Tom Frieden: Coronavirus straight talk – the letter that should be sent to every American

Fox News March 30, 2020

In May of 1988, I was working as a medical resident in New York City. AIDS was front and center for the hundreds of patients we cared for and for whom we could do so little, and for ourselves, fearing needle sticks as we drew blood dozens of times a day.

Former CDC Director and Resolve to Save Lives President and CEO, Dr. Tom Frieden, Urges New York City Residents with Mild Symptoms Not to Seek Care or Get Tested at This Time

Resolve to Save Lives March 27, 2020

27 March 2020 – Today, Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, a global health organization headquartered in New York, released the following statement urging New York City Residents with mild symptoms not to seek care or get tested at this time:

“If you’re in New York and you have some of the symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough and fever, I urge you not to get tested if those symptoms are only mild. Every non-essential test delays tests and uses scarce protective equipment needed for someone who is very sick. This means that soon healthcare workers may not have necessary safety equipment, including masks, to treat hospitalized patients.
On the other hand, if you are short of breath with cough and fever, definitely seek care, and do so safely. Call ahead. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask, scarf, bandana, or other piece of clothing.

We’ll lose ‘World War C’ against the coronavirus if we don’t fight the right way

The Hill March 27, 2020

This is war. It is “World War C,” humans against the coronavirus. In a war, a strategy is important and so is organization. For rapid, effective action to fight epidemics, the best practice is to use an incident management system.

Former CDC Chief Dr. Tom Frieden: Coronavirus and cardiovascular disease – stopping a deadly duo

Fox News March 26, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, one thing we have learned is that people with pre-existing chronic diseases are at substantially higher risk of severe complications and death. As we race to respond to this pandemic, we need to protect and provide care for the most vulnerable among us, including people living with cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.

When will it be safe to go out again?

Washington Post March 26, 2020

There is increasing pressure to resume social and economic activity soon to limit the economic damage from the coronavirus. Suggestions to reopen are emerging that are not informed by thoughtful analysis or public-health expertise.

Former CDC Chief Dr. Tom Frieden: Coronavirus infection risk may be reduced by Vitamin D

Fox News March 23, 2020

As we race to develop effective treatments and a vaccine against COVID-19, people are looking to reduce their risk of getting sick. One thing that might help is as obvious as the sun in the sky and as close as your medicine cabinet – Vitamin D.

Former CDC director: There’s a long war ahead and our Covid-19 response must adapt

CNN March 22, 2020

Different times call for different measures. When Covid-19 hit China, I was concerned, as were many public health professionals, about what could happen and urged rapid action to understand more and prepare. But few of us anticipated the catastrophic impact the new virus has had in Wuhan, in Italy and may soon have in many other places.

How NYC can get through the coronavirus crisis: Stay home, and don’t get tested or seek care if you have mild illness

New York Daily News March 18, 2020

New York City has been through a lot in the past few days — and unfortunately, COVID-19 will get a lot worse in our city, and soon, before it gets better. What we do and don’t do in the coming days will determine how much worse.

The Three Essential Questions about COVID-19

Project Syndicate March 18, 2020

Public-health specialists in the United States and elsewhere must focus squarely on gathering more data regarding how the COVID-19 virus spreads, and which segments of the population are most vulnerable. Answering these questions as quickly as possible has become a matter of life and death.

7 potentially deadly errors the US is making in its coronavirus response

Vox March 16, 2020

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread rapidly, every step of the response needs to prioritize actions most likely to achieve three overarching goals: prevent infections, prevent death in infected people, and reduce societal harms. But the United States’ response is being undermined by seven potentially deadly errors.

Former CDC director: Covid-19 is different from flu and we must respond differently

CNN March 14, 2020

There are similarities and differences between Covid-19 and the flu, but we know much less about the novel coronavirus. As we look at what happened in China, and what’s happening now in Italy, it’s easy to adopt a fatalistic attitude that “there’s nothing we can do, we’re all going to get it anyway.”

Lessons from Ebola: The secret of successful epidemic response

CNN March 11, 2020

The novel coronavirus is an unprecedented threat. We don’t know how bad it will be or for how long it will spread, but we do know that it has already infected more than 118,000 people around the world — and probably many times that number, killed more than 4,000 people and caused serious global economic damage.

Could Coronavirus Kill a Million Americans?

Think Global Health March 10, 2020

Soon after I became director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June of 2009, I was asked to brief President Barack Obama about the emerging pandemic of H1N1 influenza. It was the first time I had briefed the president, there was a blizzard of information from CDC’s experts, and I had a videocall with dozens of CDC professionals—most of whom didn’t know I was about to brief the president—just before the briefing to make sure I had the latest information.

Former CDC director: It’s time to restrict visits to nursing homes

CNN March 8, 2020

Last week, I noted that we were in the calm before the storm. Now, the storm has started in the United States and is gathering strength.

Dr. Tom Frieden on 19 Critical Data Gaps Limiting our Effectiveness Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Resolve to Save Lives March 6, 2020

The more we know, the better we can protect people against COVID-19. Here’s a set of the most important questions to be answered. Although we learn more about this virus every day and have some information on some of these questions, much of that data is preliminary, imprecise, or potentially inaccurate.

Protecting Americans from infectious disease threats, today and tomorrow

The Hill March 3, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic expands, the U.S. Congress is drafting supplemental funding legislation to jumpstart our fight against this emerging threat. As with H1N1 influenza and Ebola, we can’t protect American lives and our economy without addressing global disease threats.

How to Save Lives in a COVID-19 Pandemic

Think Global Health February 28, 2020

The pace of COVID-19, the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, has been astonishing, and it is inevitable that this will become a pandemic, if it hasn’t already. When a disease is a pandemic, it considered to be an ongoing threat to people around the world. COVID-19 Newsletter

Resolve to Save Lives February 28, 2020

A quarterly newsletter dedicated to innovative work, exciting data, and noteworthy news on epidemic preparedness.

Former CDC director: A coronavirus pandemic is inevitable. What now?

CNN February 25, 2020

Covid-19 will become a pandemic. We don’t yet know how severe it will be, nor do we know if the virus will spread to all continents, but it’s already spreading widely in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and elsewhere — and thousands of undetected and infectious patients have been and continue to travel around the world.

What’s Next for COVID-19?

Think Global Health February 18, 2020

Right now, the crucial question for the world is whether the virus can be contained and eliminated, as SARS was, or is destined to continue to spread, as other coronaviruses that cause the common cold do. Containment means that the virus is eliminated, as we think SARS was eliminated, and no longer spreads among people.

New study an eye-opener on how coronavirus is spreading and how little we know

CNN February 8, 2020

A study published Friday in the medical journal JAMA found that 41% of the first 138 patients diagnosed at one hospital in Wuhan, China, were presumed to be infected in that hospital. This is big news.

Opinion: Africa is not fully ready for coronavirus

Devex February 6, 2020

Globalization has ensured viruses know no borders, with diseases moving across the world in less than 36 hours. Since December, the novel coronavirus has spread from China, where it was first discovered, to dozens of countries in Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania.

Dr. Tom Frieden on the Politics of Epidemics

Think Global Health January 31, 2020

Coronavirus and other infectious disease agents don’t care about governments, ideologies, or borders. But politics in the fight against disease can cost us lives and money.

Dr. Tom Frieden on the World Health Organization’s Declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

Resolve to Save Lives January 31, 2020

The declaration of a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) is warranted and matches the situation on the ground. The PHEIC will allow WHO to go beyond the sound technical information they have distributed to date, and allow them to further lean into the role of global leadership for governments and the private sector.

The next pandemic is coming. We’re not prepared for it.

The Washington Post January 30, 2020

As the coronavirus spreads beyond China, the world is asking, “Are we on the verge of our next global pandemic?” We can be sure the virus will continue to spread, but we can’t predict how far or for how long or how bad the impact will be.

Dr. Tom Frieden, Former CDC Director, on the Latest Scientific Developments, and Implications for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control

Resolve to Save Lives January 29, 2020

At the end of a busy week of our usual work at Resolve to Save Lives in epidemic prevention and cardiovascular health, combined with requests to advise on and discuss the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak, I sat down to read seven scientific articles about coronavirus that had come out in the past day. These give us more information than we’ve ever had, but leave many key questions unanswered.

Former CDC director Tom Frieden on 3 key questions about the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

STAT January 22, 2020

There may or may not always be something new out of Africa, as the saying goes, but there’s always something new out of the microbial world. Scientists find an average of one new pathogen every year.

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