Stand Together-backed COVID Commission featured in Washington Post
In a recent column, the Washington Post highlighted the creation of the COVID Commission Planning Group, a nonpartisan project of which Stand Together is a part, aimed at laying the groundwork for a national commission whose focus will be to understand societal fault lines exposed by the pandemic and preserve the lessons of the COVID-19 crisis.
In April, Stand Together united with Schmidt Futures, the Skoll Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation to support the project. “As we cast a hopeful eye to a safer future, we must also look back to better understand what worked and what did not, learning from the remarkable accomplishments of the past year as well as the tragic failures,” said Brian Hooks, CEO of Stand Together, at the time. “[A] National Commission on COVID-19 will help ensure that our country is much better prepared for a crisis of this magnitude,” Hooks added.
The Post wrote, “the planning group has identified an ambitious agenda that looks both back and ahead, including study of the origins of the virus and variants; gaps in biosurveillance and data collection; problems in pandemic preparedness and local public health; difficulties with mitigation and its tools; faults in care for the sick; and the challenge of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.”
“There are deeper, systemic failures that must also be studied and addressed,” the Post continued. “The largest public health disaster in a century deserves an independent, nonpartisan commission to find the answers.”
While a national commission will not have the final word on what caused this crisis and what it will take to stop the next one, it can help build a common understanding of preparedness gaps that left society vulnerable to this pandemic and how those weak spots may be addressed in the future.
“Looking back at this period won’t be pleasant, nor without uncertainties,” concluded the Post. “But the unvarnished truth in a national commission report will be a gift to the future.”