Lessons Learned from COVID-19 and Other Emergencies

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic offers a wealth of lessons and takeaways for U.S. policymakers and health-aligned professionals. As the world continues to act on and react to the pandemic, there is an opportunity to look across nations to identify successes, failures, and key lessons in our global response. The high U.S. death toll during the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the urgency needed to learn from other countries and address domestic policy barriers to access, care affordability, administrative efficiency, and equity. This briefing explored how the U.S. has fared during the COVID-19 pandemic to-date and highlight key takeaways learned in the U.S. response, as well as important lessons learned from peer countries. Panelists shared insights on topics such as public health strategy, hospital and system capacity building, and how delivery system reform can be built into policymaking to provide more affordable, higher quality care, while preparing the U.S. to respond to national health emergencies.


  • Caroline Pearson, Senior Vice President, NORC, University of Chicago
  • Dylan Scott, Senior Correspondent, Vox
  • Rebecca Weintraub, M.D., Director, Better Evidence and COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • Reginald D. Williams, II, Vice President, International Health Policy and Practice Innovations, Commonwealth Fund (moderator)

This event was made possible with support from the Commonwealth Fund.