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Laurie Garrett

Senior Fellow for Global Health

Expertise

Global health systems; chronic and infectious diseases; bioterrorism; public health and its effects on foreign policy and national security.

Programs

Global Health Program

Featured Publications

All Publications

Other Report

The Evolution and Future of Donor Assistance for HIV/AIDS

Authors: Kammerle Schneider and Laurie Garrett

This Working Paper, a contribution to the aids2031 project, focuses on the future of donor financing for HIV prevention and treatment programs and makes recommendations for what the donor community and national governments can do now to build a foundation that ensures steady, long-term funding for HIV/AIDS and alleviates the impact of future challenges.

See more in Foreign Aid; Global; Diseases, Infectious

Other Report

The Future of Foreign Assistance Amid Global Economic and Financial Crisis

Author: Laurie Garrett

Though the United States of America faces its toughest budgetary and economic challenges since the Great Depression, it cannot afford to eliminate, or even reduce, its foreign assistance spending. For clear reasons of political influence, national security, global stability, and humanitarian concern the United States must, at a minimum, stay the course in its commitments to global health and development, as well as basic humanitarian relief. In this report, Laurie A. Garrett makes recommendations for the future of foreign aid under a new presidential administration and Congress.

See more in Global; Foreign Aid; Financial Crises

Op-Ed

'Sovereignty' That Risks Global Health

Authors: Richard C. Holbrooke and Laurie Garrett
Washington Post

 

Richard Holbrooke and Laurie Garrett, write about the concept of “viral sovereignty,” an “extremely dangerous idea” that asserts that deadly viruses are the sovereign property of individual nations. Fueled by self-destructive, anti-Western sentiments, this concept is slowly gaining traction and poses a real threat to global health.

See more in Public Health Threats and Pandemics; Indonesia

Current Projects

Dual Use Research: Repercussions for Security

Director: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
January 18, 2013—Present

The Dual-Use Research: Repercussions for Security roundtable series examined issues of dual-use research of concern, synthetic biology, do-it-yourself biology, and international governance and oversight. These meetings brought together experts in the fields of synthetic biology dual-use research, and laboratory safety and regulation, to broaden the debate beyond the controversy surrounding the publication of two H5N1 flu-transmission studies in 2011–2012 and to discuss various aspects of the dual-use research of concern conundrum.

This roundtable series is made possible by the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Video: Staying Safe in a Biology Revolution

Working Paper: H5N1: A Case Study for Dual-Use Research

Past Projects

Roundtable Series on Global Drug Safety

Director: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
December 5, 2011—April 2, 2012

This research project was sponsored by the International Institutions and Global Governance program and made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation.

UNAIDS High-Level Commission on HIV Prevention

Staff: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
April 29, 2010—December 31, 2010

In collaboration with the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Global Health Program at CFR helped create the UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention. The commission was supported by a Scientific Advisory Panel chaired by Laurie Garrett, which provided intellectual leadership and scientific backing. The goal of the commission and scientific advisory panel was to advance the "prevention revolution" called for by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and provide a road map for generating the necessary political will at the highest levels to overcome the cultural, gender, and resource barriers to reaching zero new HIV infections.

The call for a "prevention revolution" comes amid three major changes that have occurred in the last year in the HIV pandemic: the global financial crisis has slowed the rate of growth in support of HIV treatment costs for poor countries, raising concern that continued expansion of the global epidemic will outstrip donor support of treatment; changes in U.S. foreign assistance programs have placed greater emphasis on disease prevention and program accountability; two dramatic research breakthroughs have demonstrated that it is possible to slow the spread of HIV sexually through use of a new formulation of vaginal microbicides, and through daily oral dosing with anti-HIV drugs. Combined, these changes mean that preventing further expansion of the global pandemic is imperative, and it is possible.

For ten months the scientific panel, chaired by Laurie Garrett, analyzed evidence for new strategies to control HIV, presenting the Commission with the Declaration and Statement for its approval. Commission cochairs--both Nobel laureates--Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Rev. Desmond Tutu, will now lead the commissioners on a global HIV prevention campaign.

The declaration and statement below, written by Laurie Garrett and the Scientific Advisory Panel, were released on December 1, 2010, World AIDS Day, and call on world leaders to act swiftly and accelerate the decline in new HIV infections and spark the prevention revolution.

CFR Symposium on Pandemic Influenza: Science, Economics, and Foreign Policy

Director: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
October 16, 2009—New York, NY

On August 24, 2009, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released its "Report to the President on U.S. Preparations for 2009-H1N1 Influenza," predicting, among other things, that the H1N1 (aka "swine flu") pandemic would resurge in North America in September, peaking by mid-October, causing infection and illness to up to half the U.S. population before the end of 2009. The PCAST assessment also suggested that H1N1 vaccines would not be available for the general public until well after the mid-October peak, and the epidemic would surge so rapidly that it could overwhelm hospitals, medical supplies, and intensive care units, leading to as many as 90,000 deaths in the U.S. The predicted surge held special significance for schools, parents, and employers, as sick-outs and school closures could impact productivity. Despite months of preparation, supplies of vaccines, medicines, and protective gear were expected to be inadequate, and global competition for essential tools for pandemic control and treatment would be fierce. One billion doses of H1N1 vaccine were ordered from several pharmaceutical companies, and the bulk of that supply was prioritized for ten wealthy nations, particularly the U.S. Little, if any, vaccine, medicine, or protective gear was expected to be ready, affordable, and distributed for the bottom four billion poorest people on Earth.

The CFR meeting was convened at the predicted peak of the North American pandemic. Will the PCAST model have proven correct? Looking forward, what can be scientifically forecast regarding shifts in the virology and epidemiology of the H1N1 pandemic? What are the economic and financial impacts of the outbreak? What have been, and can be predicted to be, the foreign policy implications of the pandemic and related competition for medical and public health tools?

CFR Symposium on Rethinking Maternal Health

Director: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
June 12, 2008

In 2006, CFR Senior Fellows Isobel Coleman and Laurie Garrett launched the CFR Maternal Health Program to raise awareness and suggest policies that would help improve maternal survival worldwide. With the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the CFR Maternal Health Program convened a symposium on June 11 and 12, 2008, in Washington, DC, and New York entitled, "Rethinking Maternal Health." The symposium examined issues surrounding maternal health in the context of U.S. foreign assistance. A summary of the symposium is available below.

Summary of sessions 1 - 3 (PDF)

Global Health Roundtable Series: "Can U.S. Foreign Aid Support What Works for Global Health?"

Staff: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
May 1, 2007—June 30, 2009

The Series was developed with the global public health practice at McKinsey & Company.

The goal of the series is to examine proven technologies that are known to be life-saving, but are not yet in widespread use in poor countries. A number of questions will be discussed, including: What are the barriers to ubiquitous use? What controversies surround them? Are there specific funding issues in Congress or in the Executive branch that currently make support for these efforts difficult, or impossible? Are there domestic political issues in the U.S. that limit their application? Are there reasons that desirability of these innovations is limited, on the ground in target countries? Are there novel ways to overcome current barriers to implementation, including different economic models?

A CFR general meeting and four roundtables will take place throughout spring and summer of 2007 where medical technologies such as male circumcision, HPV vaccine, eyeglasses, HIV vaccine, and sterile syringes will be discussed.

A Conference On The Global Threat Of Pandemic Influenza

Director: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
November 16, 2005

This day-long conference, which was held at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, examined preparedness and planning efforts in the United States as the world faces the possibility of an influenza pandemic caused by H5N1, the avian flu virus.

CFR Events

Conference Call

The International AIDS Conference: Wrap Up

Speaker:

Jon Cohen, Correspondent, Science

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
July 30, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

A Conversation with Peter Piot

Speakers:

Peter Piot, Director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Author, No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses, Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
June 18, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Universal Health Coverage: The Future of Healthcare Reform?

Speakers:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations, Daniel Altman, Director, Thought Leadership, Dalberg Global Advisors, Alexander S. Preker, Head, Health Industry and Investment Policy Analysis, World Bank Group

Presider:

Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
April 24, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

Losing Ground in the Vaccine Fight? Denialism, Measles, Polio, and Mumps - Old Scourges and New Problems

Speakers:

Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Sophie Delaunay, Executive Director, U.S. Section of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
October 24, 2011

This meeting is on the record.

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General Meeting ⁄ New York

Screening of Contagion

Speakers:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health program, Council on Foreign Relations; Scientific Consultant, Contagion, Scott Z. Burns, Writer, Contagion

Presider:

Sanjay K. Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN; Associate Chief of Neurosurgery, Grady Memorial Hospital; Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine
September 6, 2011 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Reception
6:30-9:00 p.m. - Screening and Discussion

This meeting is on the record.

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Conference Panel Session

Potential Solutions

Speakers:

Caroline Smith DeWaal, Food Safety Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Aline Plançon, Head of INTERPOL-IMPACT Project and Head of Medical Products Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime Unit (MPCPC), INTERPOL, France, Michael Robach, Vice President, Corporate Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs, Cargill, Inc., Greg Simon, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Policy, Pfizer, Inc.

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
January 31, 2011

This meeting is on the record.

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Conference Panel Session

Meeting the Challenge of HIV/AIDS in South Africa: Treatment Access and Retention

Speaker:

Francois Venter, HIV Management Cluster, Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand

Commentator:

Robin Wood, Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, University of Cape Town

Moderator:

Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations
January 21, 2010

This meeting is on the record.

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Conference Panel Session

Pandemic Influenza: Science, Economics, and Foreign Policy: Foreign Policy

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations

Panelists:

John Lange, Senior Program Officer for Developing-Country Policy & Advocacy, Global Health Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Former Special Representative on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, U.S. Department of State, Helen Branswell, Medical Reporter, The Canadian Press
October 16, 2009

This meeting is on the record.

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Conference Panel Session

The United States and the Future of Global Governance: H1N1 - The Global Response to the Swine Influenza

Speaker:

Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

James Traub, New York Times Magazine
May 7, 2009 - May 8, 2009

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

Closing the Gaps in Latin America in a Time of World Crisis

Speaker:

Julio Frenk Mora, Harvard School of Public Health

Presiders:

Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations, Shannon K. O'Neil, Council on Foreign Relations
February 26, 2009

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Symposium ⁄ New York

CFR Symposium: Rethinking Maternal Health - Session 1

Speakers:

Brian Brink, International Women's Health Coalition, Nils Daulaire, President and CEO, Global Health Council, Sheila Tlou, Member of Parliament and Former Minister of Health, Botswana

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
June 12, 2008 9:45-11:00 a.m.

This meeting is on the record.

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Guest Event ⁄ New York

Is Male Circumcision the Key to Stopping the AIDS Epidemic?

Speakers:

Mark R. Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State, Thomas R. Frieden, Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
May 7, 2007 5:30-7:00 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Guest Event ⁄ New York

Is the Bird Flu Threat Still Real and Are We Prepared?

Speakers:

Bruce Gellin, Director, National Vaccine Program Office, Office of Public Health and Science, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Michael T. Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy; Professor, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota; Author, “Unprepared for a Pandemic” (Foreign Affairs, March/April 2007)

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
April 12, 2007 5:30-7:00 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

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Symposium ⁄ New York

Maternal Health and Foreign Policy Symposium, Session 2: Finding Solutions

Speakers:

Allan G. Rosenfield, Dean, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations

Speakers:

Mary Robinson, President, Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative; Professor in the Professional Practice of International Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; former Pres
June 27, 2006

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

National Program Meeting ⁄ San Francisco

HIV and National Security

Speaker:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
September 8, 2005

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

General Meeting

HIV and National Security

Introductory Speaker:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Richard C. Holbrooke, President and CEO, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC

Speakers:

Peter Piot, Executive Director, UNAIDS; Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
July 18, 2005

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

General Meeting

The Threat of Global Pandemics

Presider:

James F. Hoge Jr., Peter G. Peterson Chair, Editor, Foreign Affairs

Speakers:

Anthony S. Fauci, Director, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rita Colwell, Chair, Royal Institution World Science Assembly's Pandemic Preparedness Project, Michael Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota; Associate Director, National Center for Food Protection, Department of Homeland Security; Professor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
June 16, 2005

This meeting is on the record.

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Press/Panels

Video Interview

The Ebola Crisis

Even with more than one thousand people dead in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Libera as a result of the current Ebola outbreak, "The response is so anemic, so much less than what is needed," says Laurie Garrett on Charlie Rose: The Week.

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Radio Interview

Can An Experimental Therapy be Used to Treat Ebola?

Two Americans received an experimental treatment after they became infected with Ebola while working with patients in West Africa. Heinz Feldmann, chief of the Laboratory of Virology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and Laurie Garrett, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discuss how the serum works and if it should be used more widely on Science Friday.

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Video Interview

Should an experimental drug be used to treat Ebola in West Africa?

The treatment of two Ebola-infected Americans with an experimental drug, Z-Mapp, raises the question of whether it has potential for widespread use in combating the outbreak in West Africa. Judy Woodruff gets perspective on the topic from two experts, Laurie Garrett of the Council on Foreign Relations and Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University School of Medicine, on this segment of PBS's Newshour.

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Radio Interview

Understanding the Deadly Ebola Virus

Laurie Garrett joins the The Diane Rehm Show with Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Daniel Lucey, Georgetown University Medical Center; and Billy Fischer, University of North Carolina School of Medicine to discuss the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

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Radio Interview

Ebola Is Spreading: Can It Be Contained?

Almost 700 people have died, and more than a thousand have been infected, in the worst epidemic since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976. Laurie Garrett appears with Clair MacDougall; William Fischer, University of North Carolina; and Jeremy Youde, University of Minnesota at Duluth to examine this a massive challenge to the global effort to protect public health.

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Video Interview

Nightly News with Lester Holt

Laurie Garrett appears in a segment on NBC's Nightly News with Lester Holt to discuss the broader political implications of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including what would happen if the disease spreads to Senegal or Nigeria. Segment begins at 4:26.

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Video Interview

Death toll for Ebola outbreak growing

The death toll for the Ebola outbreak is steadily growing in West Africa. Laurie Garrett from the Council on Foreign Relations, Steve Monroe from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tarik Jasarevic, spokesperson for the World Health Organization, join MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show to discuss.

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Video Interview

What we should know about the Ebola outbreak

The current Ebola outbreak in cities in Western Africa has become the most infectious, most deadly Ebola outbreak in history. Laurie Garrett joins the table on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show to discuss.

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Video Interview

Fear works against health workers trying to contain Ebola

The latest Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now the largest and deadliest outbreak ever. And unlike outbreaks of the past, it is affecting both rural and urban areas. On PBS NewsHour, Jeffrey Brown talks to Laurie Garrett about a recent summit on the outbreak, distrust building against health workers in infected areas and how porous borders make this outbreak so hard to contain.

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Video Interview

Directing Evolution

In this talk at TEDxDanubia in Budapest, Laurie Garrett examines the three major revolutions in biology: synthetic biology, gain-of-function research, and metagenomics. She then asks if humanity has the proper procedures in place to prevent or to control a direction evolution mishap.

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Radio Interview

What's stopping some Pakistani parents from letting their children be vaccinated?

In a segment on PRI's The World, Laurie Garrett welcomes the White House's pledge to stop using fake vaccination campaigns in CIA tactics. She also gives historical background and analysis behind this decision, and on why some residents of Pakistan are still hesitant to let their children get vaccinated against diseases like polio.

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Video Interview

Ebola outbreak strikes West Africa

Laurie Garrett appeared on CBS Evening News for a segment about ebola, in which she gives political context to the medical crisis that has killed at least 88 people in two west African countries.

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Radio Interview

The Rise in Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Deadly childhood diseases once thought eradicated are making a comeback around the world. In some places, it's polio, where violence, religion and political paranoia have caused a drop in vaccinations. In the US, it's measles, where some parents have chosen not to vaccinate their children. Laurie Garrett appears on a panel discussion on To The Point with Warren Olney to discuss these outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

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Article

Ebola Hunt Draws U.S. Team Searching for Disease Carriers

Laurie Garrett is quoted in this article for Bloomberg.com about the most recent outbreak of Ebola that has killed at least 87 people in Africa, discussing how stigma and fear can exacerbate the spread of this deadly disease.

Video Interview

Global Health Law – A Book Event

Laurie Garrett appeared on a panel at Georgetown Law School with Zeke Emmanuel and Edith Brown Weiss on major challenges to global health. The panel marked release of Lawrence Gostin's new book Global Health Law published by Harvard Press.

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Article

Problems Persist at Fukushima

After visiting Fukushima in December 2013, Laurie Garrett reports in ForeignPolicy.com that 250,000 tons of radioactive soil is sitting in plastic bags around the nuclear plant, and explains that Japan does not know what to do with it.

Article

Measles legacy of disgraced doctor

In an article for the Sunday Times, Laurie Garrett discusses the legacy of the discredited research by Andrew Wakefield, and how the Council on Foreign Relations' map of vaccine-preventable outbreaks suggests, "where Wakefield's message has caught on, measles follows."

Article

The Taliban Are Winning the War on Polio

After the tragic reappearance of polio in Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul, Laurie Garrett and Maxine Builder explore how Taliban plots to obstruct polio vaccinations could derail many hard-fought gains in global health and development.

Radio Interview

Contagion discussion

The ease and availability of global travel brings the threat of widespread contagion ever closer to reality. From time to time one of those diseases takes hold – bird flu, SARS and more recently, MERS, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. In a conversation with Dr. Norman Swan, host of Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Health Report, and Gareth Williams, professor of medicine at the University of Bristol, Laurie Garrett answers the question, "How much of a threat do such epidemics actually pose and how prepared are we for a plague?"

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Video Interview

Does mankind need to get serious about global threats?

In a conversation with BBC Future at the Atlantic Meets the Pacific festival, Laurie Garrett discusses her fears that humanity is taking a lackluster approach to facing up to the problems of the future. From newly emerging diseases to lethal and drug-resistant strains of familiar plagues, Garrett believes people have become overly complacent about some of the biggest threats to life on Earth.

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Radio Interview

Laurie Garrett – “Biology’s Brave New World”

Laurie Garrett talks with Tavis Smiley on the Tavis Smiley Radio Show about her Foreign Affairs essay of the same title, which says the practice of synthetic biology holds great promise for humankind—it could lead to anything from cleaner water to a cure for cancer. But unchecked, it could also lead to Armageddon.

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Video Interview

Understanding Typhoon Haiyan

In this discussion on Fareed Zakaria's Fareed Zakaria GPS with Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Center for Resilient Studies at Northeastern University, Laurie Garrett discusses why the impact of Typhoon Haiyan was so deadly.

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Radio Interview

Biosecurity for the Age of Redesigned Life

In this panel discussion on NPR's Science Friday, Laurie Garrett discusses the foreign policy implications of recent advances in synthetic biology. With the conversation focused on the iGEM competition, she praises the organization's emphasis on bioethics, but adds that one cannot assume those ethics will be translated to adult-run labs around the world.

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Article

The Next Bioweapon May be a Text File

Laurie Garrett, in an interview for WIRED, discusses dual-use research of concern and synthetic biology, emphasizing the point that scientists should not be left to their own devices, free from regulation and oversight.

Radio Interview

Security Lags Behind Biotech Advancements

In an interview with John Hockenberry for WNYC's the Takeaway, Laurie Garrett discusses the advent of 4D printing and synthetic biology, as well the disconnect between security and science.

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Article

Biological Attack

In this article for Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett examines the recent reports of two polio cases in Syria, which has not reported a case since 1999, and explains why polio is coming back from the brink of eradication.

Video Interview

Is President Obama serious about chemical weapons?

In this op-ed for Politico, Laurie Garrett argues that before any missiles are launched by the Obama administration, several crucial diplomatic steps need to be taken to ensure that the use of chemical weapons doesn't become the region's "new normal."

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Video Interview

Chemical weapons are a nightmare for Syrians

Laurie Garrett explains what makes sarin gas dangerous to humans and reviews the chemical's deadly history in this op-ed for CNN Opinion. She then discusses the potential political implications of sarin's usage in Syria, concluding that "the Assad regime is playing with regional fire."

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Video Interview

Existential Challenges to Global Health

In a chapter for United Nations Development at a Crossroads, published by New York University's Center on International Cooperation, Laurie Garrett outlines five existential challenges facing global health today, writing that leaders and institutions that are key to global health have barely recognized these threats, much less developed policy solutions or adaptations.

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Video Interview

Cosmic Queries: Viruses, Outbreaks and Pandemics

In this episode of StarTalk Radio, Laurie Garrett talks with Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Chuck Nice about current outbreak of H7N9 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus. She also answers questions from callers about a fungus that turns ants into zombies, pathogens that spread via rain, and the dangers of the anti-vaccine movement.

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Video Interview

SARS-Like Virus a Threat to Muslim Pilgrims

Laurie Garrett is quoted in this article from the Wall Street Journal's India Realtime Blog, discussing how India can best prepare its Muslim community for the hajj given the threat of MERS-CoV.

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Video Interview

The Middle East Plague Goes Global

There is a new, and dangerous, coronavirus taking hold in Saudi Arabia, just as six million religious pilgrims are about to descend on the country from around the world. Without a more transparent international research and information-sharing system, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) could spread far beyond the bounds of the region for which it is named.

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Video Interview

That's not me in Dan Brown's 'Inferno'

In this op-ed for CNN, Laurie Garrett discusses what it's like to read a bestselling novel only to find that the villain, "is, gulp, an awful lot like yourself," and debunks some of the global health myths in Dan Brown's Inferno .

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Video Interview

Zombie Apocalypse (Part 2)

In this podcast from the Star Talk Radio Show, zombies take a back seat to real life viral threats, thanks to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett. She describes how governments and viruses don't mix, from the ongoing Russian biological warfare apparatus to terrorists targeting polio aid workers in response to CIA activities to the SARS outbreak and its fatal cover up by the Chinese government.

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Video Interview

Why MERS virus is so scary

Laurie Garrett explains why World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan is correct in warning the world of the dangers of MERS-CoV in this op-ed for CNN Opinion.

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Video Interview

The Big One?

Laurie Garrett offers a detailed account of how the H7N9 virus emerged and describes the two possible paths it may now follow, by pulling from her own experiences in the SARS epidemic ten years ago and reflecting on parallels between the two.

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Video Interview

Hopes and Fears in China Bird Flu Battle

In this video clip and accompanying article from Voice of America, Laurie Garrett connects the lessons learned from the swine flu panic in 2009 to today's outbreak of H7N9.

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Video Interview

China's bird flu mystery

In a post for Fareed Zakaria's CNN GPS blog, Laurie Garrett gives a summary of the information released to date by Chinese health and agricultural authorities regarding the H7N9 outbreak, and then offers her analysis on the situation.

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Video Interview

Cause for Concern Beyond China?

Laurie Garrett discusses the concerns that the new flu emerging in China could become a global problem with Marco Werman on PRI's "The World." This link features both the radio edit and the extended interview.

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Video Interview

Is China getting better at handling epidemics?

In this blog post, Lily Kuo draws a comparison between today's outbreak of H7N9 and the SARS outbreak of ten years ago. She quotes Laurie Garrett as saying that the difference is a stark one.

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Video Interview

Beijing Prepares for Avian Flu

Laurie Garrett offers advice to residents of Shanghai and other Chinese cities who may be concerned about the spread of H7N9 in the last paragraph of this article from Businessweek.

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Video Interview

China Bird Flu

Laurie Garrett talks with Voice of America's Sarah Williams about the possibility that the recent deaths of pigs, ducks and swans in China may be related to a new strain of bird flu, H7N9 in this radio interview.

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Video Interview

Is This a Pandemic Being Born?

In this article for Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett looks at possible connections between China's recent mysterious pig, duck, and people deaths, and then explains why this should worry us all.

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Video Interview

Great Decisions

In this interview with Great Decisions on PBS, Laurie Garrett discusses the connection between public health and national security and draws lessons from the post-9/11 anthrax attack.

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Video Interview

After 9/11, Health Lessons Ignored

Laurie Garrett gave a talk at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she touched on a variety of current public health problems, ranging from 9/11 to antrax attacks and outbreaks of SARS, bird flu, and swine flu. This article from the Harvard Gazette summarizes the discussion.

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Video Interview

Terrorist Threats, Past and Future

This Health Affairs review of Laurie Garrett's book I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 Attacks gives a comprehensive summary, calling it an "outstanding, readable chronicle."

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Video Interview

Diseases

Laurie Garrett appeared on WBEZ Chicago's Afternoon Shift as part of an hour-long program about the science of infectious diseases to discuss emerging diseases, the factors that lead to outbreaks, and the importance of public health.

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Video Interview

Ebola in Uganda

Laurie Garrett discusses the deadly Ebola outbreak in Uganda on Canada's CBC Radio program, As it Happens. In an interview, Garrett describes the nature of the virus and what its like to witness an Ebola outbreak first hand, reflecting on her time in Zaire during the Ebola epidemic of 1995.

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Video Interview

HIV at 50+

Laurie Garrett moderated this panel at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. Doctors, researchers, and international policymakers discussed the implications of a growing HIV population over 50 years of age and what is required in order to address the new challenges in this aging population, in regards to medicine as well as research and policy.

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Video Interview

Dual Uses for Avian Flu Research

Charlotte Howard of the Economist interviewed Laurie Garrett about the controversial bird flu (H5N1) research conducted by Dr. Ron Fouchier at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. Garrett discusses the contention surrounding duel-use research and the lack of international consensus regarding research regulation.

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Video Interview

Researchers at Annual Science Fest Hail Universal Vaccines

Forbes summarizes the discussion held during a public health panel, "Pandemic Fix: Seeking Universal Vaccines," at the fifth World Science Festival in New York. Laurie Garrett, alongside leading vaccine researchers and public health scientists, anylzed the public and scientific community's preparedness to deal with emerging viruses, discussing the challenges of immunization campaigns and government intervention.

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Video Interview

15 Minutes with Laurie Garrett

Lab Matters, a quarterly publication of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, published this Q & A in which Laurie Garrett talks about what keeps her motivated to continue investigating daunting public health issues as well as her opinions on the government's role in global health initaitives.

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Video Interview

Drug Safety Crisis

In a Saturday Extra radio interview, Laurie Garrett argues that we are losing the integrity of the drug, medicine, and vaccine supply of the world because of rapid globalization without proper regulation.

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Video Interview

FDA Maps Out Global Strategy

Laurie Garrett is quoted in an article in the Lancet commending the FDA's step forward in creating a global strategy for greater drug safety. The FDA acknolwedged that border inspection is no longer sufficient in the face of unprecendented international importation.

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Video Interview

Building the Perfect Bug

This video documentary and accompanying article analyze the H5N1 virus and examine what might happen if the virus transmuted into a human-to-human virus. In an interview, Laurie Garrett voices her criticism of dangerous research projects that turn these hypothetical mutations into laboratory reality.

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Video Interview

Universal Health Coverage: The Future of Healthcare Reform?

Laurie Garett, economist Daniel Altman, and Alexander S. Preker of the World Bank discussed the potential benefits of universal health coverage as well as the challenges that hinder countries from achieving it during a special meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Video Interview

Can New World Bank Leader Heal the World?

In an interview with Medscape Medical News, senior fellow Laurie Garrett comments on the appointment of Dr. Jim Yong Kim as the next leader of the World Bank, saying he has much to learn in the ways of economics and multilateral politics.

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Video Interview

Rep. Lowey Stands Up for Global Health R&D; highlights economic boost to NY

This article in Science Speaks recounts the Research!America meeting in New York attended by global health professionals and congressmen. At the meeting moderated by Laurie Garrett, Representative Nita Lowey discussed the implications of deep slashes in public spending for global health initiatives. Garrett points out the direct impact on New York City, which is home to seven of the top fifty global health research institutions and 80,000 jobs in the global health sector.

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Video Interview

Global Health Research and Development in New York

Laurie Garrett moderated a panel at a Research!America meeting on global health research and development in New York on April 9, 2012. Panelists included respresentatives from Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative North America, SUNY Downstate AIDS International Training and Research Program, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, and Pfizer.

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Video Interview

Global Health Funding Crisis Hits UN Work

In this article in the Interdependent, Laurie Garrett is quoted describing the impact of the 2008 recession on global health funding and the resultant emergence of innovative public-private health partnerships.

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Video Interview

H5N1, The "Public," and Public Health

Laurie Garret presents on H5N1 and the threat it poses to public health at The Royal Society in the UK. In her talk, Garrett uses frightening case studies from countries around the world to underscore the scale of the crisis.

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Video Interview

Building the Perfect Bug

This episode of Foreign Correpondent is an investigative report on avian flu and dual-use research of concern, Laurie Garrett appears to give historical context as well as her own opinion on the threat of this, "bird flu mutant."

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Video Interview

America is Stealing the World's Doctors

In this article in the New York Times, Laurie Garrett discusses America's position to "cherry-pick" the world's most talented medical professionals and the impact it has on the medical workforce in poorer countries.

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Video Interview

Grounds for Concern: the Case of H5N1

Laurie Garrett participated in a panel discussion on concerns surrounding dual use research that was hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences.

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Video Interview

Biosecurity Panel Chief Voices Mixed Reaction to WHO Meeting

In this CIDRAP News article, Laurie Garrett speculates on the degree of consensus between participants at a WHO meeting on the moratorium on H5N1 research, suggesting that it may have been overstated by the multilateral organization following the meeting.

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Video Interview

Bird Flu Pandemic: How the Virus Mutates

In an ABC News story about the controversial research surrounding the H5N1 virus, Laurie Garrett speaks on the side of the skeptics, stating her concern about the existence of this dangerous man-made strain.

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Video Interview

How Secure are Labs Handling World's Deadliest Pathogens

Laurie Garrett is quoted in this Reuters article exploring the safety requirements that restrict laboratory experiments with the world's deadliest and infectious viruses and whether these labs are really as secure as we think they are.

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Debating H5N1 and Dual Use Research

Laurie Garrett, along with Michael Olsterholm of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and W. Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, discusses her position in the H5N1 dual-use research debate in this video from a panel discussion at the New York Academy of Sciences.

Flu Fighters

This article in Discover Magazine summarizes the meeting held at the New York Academy of Sciences that discussed whether the controversial H5N1 researchers should be allowed to fully publish their findings. Laurie Garrett provides background information critical to understanding the issue.

Emotion Runs High at H5N1 Debate

Nature recaps a meeting hosted at the New York Academy of Science regarding the fate of two infamous research manuscripts. Laurie Garrett questions the purpose of the research in the first place.

Health Report

Norman Swan from Radio International interviewed Laurie Garrett about the deadly H5N1 virus, the threat it poses to human beings, and the consequences that could result when researchers tinker with it.

Flu Researcher Ron Fouchier: 'It's a Pity That It Has to Come to This'

In an interview, Ron Fouchier, who led the controversial H5N1 research project at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, comments on the international debate his research has sparked. He mentions the need to cooperate and engage in dialogue with experts, including Laurie Garrett, because of the impact they have on Washington.

Flu Debate Focuses on Wrong Question

This editorial from the Star Tribune discusses the bird flu publication controversy and credits Laurie Garrett on her astute analysis of the issue as it relates to bioterrorism threats.

Flu Research: A Deadly Balance

Laurie Garrett points out the need for high-level security in laboratories containing the deadly new H5N1 strain in a quote in this article from the Economist.

Guest Post: Laurie Garrett on Man-Made Deadly Flu

Laurie Garrett appeared as a guest writer in CFR Senior Fellow James Lindsay's foreign policy blog, with a post about the research that created a "super-flu" variant of the H5N1 virus.

Failure Is Not Acceptable on World AIDS Day--but Neither Is Staying the Course

In this blog post, written on World AIDS Day, Laurie Garrett points out the myriad of problems plaguing current funding for and governance of AIDS programming. She implores the global health community to radically change strategies and tactics to account for the realities of the current situation.

Foreigners to Foreign Policy: It’s Not a Woman’s World

This article from the Daily Muse examines why women only make up 21% of policy-related positions in America, with Laurie Garrett cited as a role model for successful women in foreign policy. She is also quoted about her frustrations with gender discrimination in the field.

Ebola Going Airborne?

Laurie Garrett discusses the implications of the news that the Ebola virus has found a way to spread via airborne transmission among bats in a blog post.

A Crowded World: Pandemics

Laurie Garrett appears on Australia Brodcasting Network to discuss the role of zoonotic illnesses in the spread of diseases, particularly influenza, as well as what can be learned from epidemiological history to prevent future pandemics. She also discusses how this scientific knowledge was applied to the movie Contagion.

Laurie Garrett: Reporting on Biosecurity From America to Zaire

In this interview with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Laurie Garrett discusses her inquiry into the anthrax mailings of 2001 and the importance of looking critically at the government's response to that crisis in order to improve future reactions.

The Anthrax Files

In this hour-long episode of PBS's Frontline, Laurie Garrett appears in interviews to offer historical context about the 2001 anthrax attack.

Interview With Pat Kenny

In advance of giving a public lecture at NUI Maynooth in Ireland, Laurie Garrett was interviewed by Pat Kenny about her book I Heard the Sirens Scream, answering the question: ten years on, what was has the impact of that tragedy been on the people of New York?

So, What Was Accomplished? The UN and NCDS

This blog post from Laurie Garrett criticizes the Declaration of the United National High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases as being too polite, saying the document does not addess the real culprits behind chronic diseases. She concludes that the global health movement has lost its way and urgently needs to readjust.

Laurie Garrett on "Contagion"

In this radio interview, Laurie Garrett uses the fictional story of Contagion as a springboard to discuss the likelihood of a worldwide influenza epidemic along with current concerns with the global governance in terms of epidemics.

Journalist: Everything in "Contagion" is Based on Reality

Laurie Garrett appeared on MSNBC with Thomas Roberts to discuss the film Contagion, as well the possibility of a widespread epidemic similar to the one in the film and what individuals can do to prevent such an occurrence.

Anthrax Scare: 10 Years Later, How Prepared Are We?

Laurie Garrett discusses the process of designing the fictional MEV-1 paramyxovirus featured in the movie Contagion, as well as how science and epidemiology were used to ensure the film's realism.

How the "Contagion" Virus Was Born

In this episode of KPCC's The Madeline Brand Show, Laurie Garrett analyzes the government's response to the anthrax attacks of 2001, including the impact of the $60 billion of federal funds spent on domestic biodefense efforts.

Could "Contagion" Event Really Happen?

Laurie Garrett, who contributed to the script of the new movie Contagion, talks with CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the likelihood of the movie's events playing out in real life.

Live Chat: Contagion and the Threat of a Viral Pandemic

Laurie Garrett and neurologist W. Ian Lipkin discuss with Science magazine the reality of bioterrorism and biodefense, as well as their role in writing the script of the Steven Soderbergh's new movie, Contagion.

9/11 + Ten: From Unity to Enmity

In this interview with Mark Summer on PRX's A World of Possibilities, Laurie Garrett reflects on the enduring public health and societal impacts of 9/11, as well as her own experiences from that day.

Ten-Year 9/11 Retrospective

Pacifica Radio reflects on the ten years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Laurie Garrett, along with other witnesses and public figures, talk about the events and consequences of that fateful day.

A Look Back at 9/11 in "I Heard The Sirens Scream"

Approaching the tenth anniversary of 9/11, NPR's Ira Flatlow interviewed journalist Laurie Garrett about her new book, I Heard the Sirens Scream, which recounts her investigation of America's response to the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Da união à divisão no pós-11 de Setembro

Brooklynite Laurie Garrett relates her 9/11 story after having witnessed first hand the devestation of the terrorist attacks in this video for the Portuguese-lanugage Público Mais. Garrett discusses the resulting public health nightmare and the eerie effect it had on the nation's psyche.

Ten Whats With…Laurie Garrett

Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Micah Zenko interviewed Laurie Garrett about her current projects, what she sees as the most pressing—and least pressing—threats to U.S. national interests, as well as how she started her career in global health.

Mass Tragedies as Public Health Events

Laurie Garrett talks with UN Dispatch about her new book, I Heard The Sirens Scream and the public health lessons that should be draw from 9/11.

The Colbert Report: Eat, Pray to Eat

Laurie Garrett explains on The Colbert Report how biofuels, natural diasaters and diseases are wiping out the global food supply and causes food prices to sky rocket.

Rachel Maddow Show: Trust, Messaging and Managing Emergencies

In a one-on-one interview on the Rachel Maddow Show, Laurie Garrett discusses the health challenges resulting from the collapse of nuclear reactors in Japan and what the Japanese government can learn from the mistakes made by the American government after Hurricane Katrina.

Article

What should scare us most about Ebola?

Laurie Garrett explains how wars and climate change affect the health of all the world's people, and that should be was scares us most about Ebola. This feature for the Globalist is based on Laurie's comments on the Diane Rehm Show, "Understanding the Deadly Ebola Virus," which aired on Friday, August 1, 2014..

Bio

Since 2004, Laurie Garrett has been a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. Ms. Garrett is the only writer ever to have been awarded all three of the Big "Ps" of journalism: the Peabody, the Polk, and the Pulitzer. Her expertise includes global health systems, chronic and infectious diseases, and bioterrorism.

Ms. Garrett is the best-selling author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994) and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health (Hyperion Press, 2000). Over the years, she has also contributed chapters to numerous books, including AIDS in the World (Oxford University Press, 1993), edited by Jonathan Mann, Daniel Tarantola, and Thomas Netter, and Disease in Evolution: Global Changes and Emergence of Infectious Diseases (New York Academy of Sciences, 1994), edited by Mary E. Wilson. Her latest book is I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks.

She graduated with honors in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She attended graduate school in the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology at University of California, Berkeley, and did laboratory research at Stanford University with Dr. Leonard Herzenberg. During her PhD studies, she started reporting on science news at KPFA, a local radio station. The hobby soon became far more interesting than graduate school, and she took a leave of absence to explore journalism. At KPFA, Ms. Garrett worked on a documentary, coproduced with Adi Gevins, that won the 1977 George Foster Peabody Award.

After leaving KPFA, Ms. Garrett worked briefly in the California Department of Food and Agriculture, assessing the human health impacts of pesticide use. She then went overseas, living and working in southern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, freelance reporting for Pacifica Radio, Pacific News Service, BBC Radio, Reuters, Associated Press, and others. In 1980, she joined National Public Radio, working out of the network's San Francisco and, later, Los Angeles bureaus as a science correspondent. During her NPR years, Ms. Garrett received awards from the National Press Club (Best Consumer Journalism, 1982), the San Francisco Media Alliance (Meritorious Achievement Award in Radio, 1983), and the World Hunger Alliance (First Prize, Radio, 1987).

In 1988, Ms. Garrett left NPR to join the science writing staff of Newsday. Her Newsday reporting has earned several awards, including the Newsday Publisher's Award (Best Beat Reporter, 1990), Award of Excellence from the National Association of Black Journalists (for "AIDS in Africa," 1989), Deadline Club of New York (Best Beat Reporter, 1993), First Place from the Society of Silurians (for "Breast Cancer," 1994), and the Bob Considine Award of the Overseas Press Club of America (for "AIDS in India," 1995). She has also written for many publications, including Foreign Affairs, Esquire, Vanity Fair, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Current Issues in Public Health. She has appeared frequently on national television programs, including ABC's Nightline, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The Charlie Rose Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline, The International Hour (CNN), and Talkback (CNN).

Ms. Garrett is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and served as the organization's president during the mid-1990s. She lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York.