U.S. launches pandemic-inspired bureau

U.S. Department of State building in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. State Department launched the new Bureau of Global Health Security & Diplomacy on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken first announced the addition in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador-at-large and Global AIDS Coordinator Dr. John Nkengasong serves as Senior Official of the new department. Blinken said the department is based on international health work like the 2014 Ebola outbreak and the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

What exactly will the department do? The department will lead internal and international coordination for preventing and curing global diseases. The Bureau will prepare for the next global pandemic, which Blinken said is unavoidable. It will streamline responses to health crises instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, international embassies, and other powers coordinating separately. The Bureau will specifically focus on infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and COVID-19.

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This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2023, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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