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FEATURING LAWRENCE O. GOSTIN – The new Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, ordered a review of her agency’s adherence to scientific principles during the Trump years. Her review identified several problematic and politically motivated recommendations that were not based on science. As the CDC attempts to rebuild its tattered reputation in the post-Trump era, new guidance on school reopening is expected based on research showing that 3 feet of social distancing may be just as good as 6.

In the meantime, a massive vaccine rollout continues to be hampered by confusing tiers, complex online navigation, and inequity in distribution. To top it off, there is widespread vaccine skepticism and Republican-run states are reopening prematurely, posing ever-greater challenges to attaining herd immunity. As Europe struggles with a third surge in infections, can the U.S., with its massive supply of vaccines, avoid the same fate?

Lawrence O. Gostin is a University Professor, Georgetown University where he directs the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. He is also the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law where he has served in numerous high-level capacities. He also co-chairs the Lancet Commission on Global Health Law and served on two global commissions to report on the lessons learned from the 2015 West Africa Ebola epidemic.

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