White House, National Academies Mobilize Scientists to Deal With Coronavirus

The White House announced that its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is working with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to create a new committee of health experts, in response to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States.

The Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats will be prepared to respond on short notice to requests from the federal government, according to a NASEM statement. It will include experts in academic fields, including emerging infectious diseases, public health preparedness and response, and risk communication.

The experts on the committee are expected to advise and assist federal officials in making policies and decisions related to COVID-19 and future public health threats, according to the statement. It will also come up with evidence-based strategies to counter the spread of “rumors, misinformation, and uninformed speculation.”

“COVID-19 is the sort of international health threat that creates a climate ripe for misinformation, rumors, and panic, all of which can lead to poor decisions,” said the National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt in the statement. “The National Academies stand ready to provide evidence-based advice to protect U.S. citizens in a timely and expedited manner.”

“We are creating a direct line to the nations top scientific minds on public health,” said OSTP Director Kelvin Droegemeier, reported The Associated Press. Droegemeier has been recently added to the White House Coronavirus Task Force led by Vice President Mike Pence.

Pences office announced on Mar. 1 that the task force would also add Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, a former brain surgeon; and Food and Drug AdmiRead More – Source

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