The Lancet COVID-19 Commission Report Details “Massive Global Failures” of COVID-19 Pandemic Response

ISGlobal joins The Lancet Commission to call for improved multilateral cooperation to end the pandemic and manage future global health threats.

Photo: Francisco Àvia / Hospital Clínic de Barcelona

The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic, in which ISGlobal was a leading contributor, has published its first full report synthesising evidence from the first two years of the pandemic, and including the latest epidemiological and financial analyses. The Commission critically considers the global response to the pandemic, citing widespread failures of prevention, transparency, rationality, basic public health practice, and operational cooperation and international solidarity. This has resulted in an estimated 17.7 million deaths (this estimate includes those not reported).

"The staggering human toll of the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic is a profound tragedy and a massive societal failure at multiple levels”, says Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Chair of the Commission, University Professor at Columbia University (USA), and President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The report also finds that most national governments were unprepared and too slow in their response, paid too little attention to the most vulnerable group, and did not cooperate with each other. They also faced challenges due to the infodemic.

The Commission is the result of two years of work from 28 of the world’s leading experts in public policy, international governance, epidemiology, vaccinology, economics, international finance, sustainability, and mental health, and consultations with over 100 other contributors to its 12 global taskforces. ISGlobal Scientific Director Denise Naniche was a member of the Vaccines and Therapeutics Task Force, while Senior Research Professor Josep M. Antó was a member of the Green Recovery Task Force and Jeffrey V Lazarus, head of the Health Systems Research Group, was a member of the Public Health Measures to Suppress the Pandemic Task Force and a co-author.

These world-renowned expert authors provide practical steps to ensure COVID-19 is no longer a public health threat. The 11 recommendations include a vaccination-plus strategy, and call for actions to strengthen multilateralism and reinforce national health systems and preparedness plans to defend against future global health threats and achieve sustainable development. 

"Our report is a wake-up call to reinvigorate response measures and help end the pandemic as a public health threat,” states Jeffrey V Lazarus. “We call for the collaboration of every country, including Spain, to implement a comprehensive pandemic response plan and to communicate it clearly to the population," he concludes.

Read the full report here