Coronavirus (898) The Lancet COVID-19 Commission

14 August, 2020

Tomorrow's print issue of The Lancet announces The Lancet COVID-19 Commission. Citation, extracts and a comment from me below.

CITATION: The Lancet - Comment| volume 396, issue 10249, p454-455, august 15, 2020

The Lancet COVID-19 Commission

Jeffrey D Sachs, Richard Horton et al.

Published: July 09, 2020DOI:


The Lancet COVID-19 Commission has been created to help speed up global, equitable, and lasting solutions to the pandemic. The Commissioners join this effort in the shared belief that effective solutions can be found on the basis of global cooperation, social justice, sustainable development, and good governance that builds on public trust...

There are four core challenges that must be faced cooperatively worldwide. The first and over-riding challenge is to suppress the pandemic as rapidly and decisively as possible. The second is to meet the dire and pressing needs of vulnerable groups such as the poor, minorities, and elderly. The third is to prevent the public health emergency from turning into a fulminant financial crisis for governments, businesses, and households. The fourth challenge is to build the world back better, with resilient health systems, global institutions, and economies that are being transformed on the basis of sustainable and inclusive development...

Alongside the Commission, we aim to set up task forces that will focus on specific dimensions of the pandemic. Task force topics include: the nature, origin, and prevention of zoonotic diseases; public health systems for surveillance, testing, tracing, and isolating COVID-19 cases; the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines; the protection of vulnerable groups; wellbeing and mental health in the context of pandemic control; equitable and efficient financing of pandemic control; and building back better in the post-COVID-19 economy to achieve the global goals of sustainable development...

The Lancet COVID-19 Commission is confident that this pandemic can be controlled decisively and justly through innovative, equitable, and globally cooperative strategies that are undertaken jointly by all nations and with the firm commitment to leave no one behind.


Information issues and the infodemic are not mentioned. They should be included. Better still, a new Lancet Commission focusing exclusively on the global challenge of empowering people with reliable information and protecting them from health misinformation would be hugely welcome.

Best wishes, Neil

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