The worst viral outbreak in more than a century has exposed critical weaknesses in New York’s public health defenses. Learning the lessons of this crisis – and fortifying the state against the next infectious disease – should be a top priority for state leaders. In this Empire Center forum, three experienced public health professionals will examine how the pandemic unfolded, what lessons can be drawn and what changes should be made going forward.
- Moderator: Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy, Empire Center
- Guthrie Birkhead, M.D., M.P.H., emeritus professor, University at Albany School of Public Health, former deputy commissioner of public health, New York State Department of Health
- Isaac Weisfuse, M.D., M.P.H., former deputy commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, adjunct professor, Cornell University Public Health
- A.K. Vaidian, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health
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"Readers will recall that the Empire Center is the think tank that spent months trying to pry Covid data out of Mr. Cuomo’s government, which offered a series of unbelievable excuses for its refusal to disclose...five months after it sued the government, and one week after a state court ruled that the Cuomo administration had violated the law and ordered it to come clean—Team Cuomo finally started coughing up some of the records." -Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2021
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