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COVID-19 Pandemic declaration: Statement from former CDC-director Dr. Tom Frieden

Today, Wednesday, March 11, The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. There are currently over 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 110 countries.

Statement from Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and current president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, on World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic:

“A pandemic declaration confirms what the data have shown for weeks: COVID-19 is spreading in many countries around the world. This does not mean it’s more severe today than it was yesterday. It’s a warning: every country needs to prepare for coronavirus. All of us, people with underlying conditions, health care facilities, and government can take steps now to prevent infection, improve outcomes of people who get infected, and reduce the societal harms the virus causes.”

Dr. Tom Frieden is former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former commissioner of the New York City Health Department. He is currently president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a global non-profit initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and part of the global non-profit Vital Strategies. Resolve to Save Lives works with countries to prevent 100 million deaths and to make the world safer from epidemics. @DrTomFrieden.

About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives is determined to prevent millions of deaths from cardiovascular disease and epidemics, with a focus on accelerating action through speed, simplicity, and scale in low- and middle-income countries. Resolve to Save Lives is an initiative of the global public health organization Vital Strategies. We received $225 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. For more information on Resolve to Save Lives’ work, please visit or @ResolveTSL

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat.

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