Coronavirus: Resources From the Council on Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs

February 7, 2020 10:33 am (EST)

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Resources from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Foreign Affairs, and CFR’s new Think Global Health website offer background and analysis on the growing threat of the novel coronavirus, including efforts in China to contain it, and the U.S. and international response to its spread. 

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A Growing Threat

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CFR Senior Fellows Thomas J. Bollyky and Yanzhong Huang examine the coronavirus outbreak in a media call and discuss the spread of the pneumonia-like virus on an episode of The President’s Inbox podcast.

A backgrounder looks at the new coronavirus that originated in China.

timeline from Think Global Health tracks emerging developments from the outbreak.

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China and the Coronavirus

The Wuhan outbreak shows that the Chinese government did not learn enough from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, argues CFR’s Huang in the New York Times. He also explains how people within Wuhan and throughout China are reacting. In conversation with CFR’s Elizabeth C. Economy, he discusses the disease’s cause, the Chinese government’s response, and potential areas for international collaboration. 

The International Response

In Think Global Health, CFR’s Huang says that instead of provoking fear and panic, governments should provide the public with a more balanced picture of the nature and spread of the virus.

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Public Health Threats and Pandemics


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CFR’s Joshua Kurlantzick says that several Southeast Asian governments, with the exception of Singapore, have not responded effectively to the outbreak.

Get the quick take on the U.S. public health response.

The University of Washington’s Deepa Jahagirdar writes in Think Global Health that travel bans rarely prevent the spread of disease, can have negative consequences, and may violate international health law.

The World Health Organization

backgrounder looks at the World Health Organization, which declared the coronavirus a global health emergency.

Georgetown University’s Rebecca Katz and Alexandra L. Phelan argue in Think Global Health that the WHO needs to become the leading source of verified epidemiologic information.

Governance and Global Health

In Foreign Affairs, Johns Hopkins University’s Tom Inglesby explains how governments can respond to a coronavirus pandemic.

Former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden writes in Think Global Health that sustained funding and political commitment are required to prevent outbreaks from becoming epidemics, and epidemics from becoming pandemics. 

The Wuhan coronavirus poses three tests for global public health says CFR’s Stewart M. Patrick. 

In Think Global Health, Swee Kheng Khor of University of Malaya and the University of Oxford examines the political choices that national governments can make to reduce the risk of infectious diseases.

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