Progress for tomorrow: Preparing for the next disaster
BENJAMIN: I wish we were higher, but I think we I think we don't want to give ourselves a false security about Tamiflu. Tamiflu isn't preparedness, whether you have 5 percent or
HEALY: No, no, no, we are not saying we are not saying that. But we are just saying there is such a disconnect between 5 percent and 25 and 50 percent.
BENJAMIN: Well, I think there is a disconnect that many of the other countries are pinning a core of their strategy around Tamiflu and I think we are pinning this core of our strategy around vaccine. We are spending a fair amount of money on the vaccines.
HEALY: But they are not either/or are they because Tamiflu might be preventive before you get your vaccine?
BENJAMIN: Well, they are not either/or, but the vaccine is central. A vaccine that is current and easily used totally changes the ballgame here, totally changes the whole event if you have an effective vaccine. So it really is the center of trying to respond to a pandemic.
HEALY: But we are talking about the surge, right, before the vaccine.
BENJAMIN: Well, that is true and all of it is about timing. If it was if the disease occurred some place else and we were able to delay it and give ourselves six months, we know this thing comes in waves, we'll be able to do something about it, but it is truly about getting a vaccine, and we have I think we have build our strategy around that more so than Tamiflu. You have got to remember also there is a huge risk of it being, the organism being resistant to Tamiflu.
HEALY: All right, now that
KELLERMAN: I just I do want to point out, the title of this panel is "Preparing for the Next Disaster." And I do want to emphasize
HEALY: Today, preparing today.
KELLERMAN: While we have spent a lot of time talking about pandemic flu and Tamiflu, et cetera, the next disaster might be an earthquake in San Francisco. It might be a Madrid-style transit bombing of multiple targets in Boston. It might be another hurricane in the Gulf Coast. And so I think that the all-hazards approach is absolutely fundamental, and you have got to have a healthcare system that can stabilized, absorb, and manage large numbers of casualties whether they are due to trauma, infectious disease, chemical exposure, or whatever, and that requires and infrastructure that works every day so it will work in an extraordinary circumstance.
That is not currently the case. That is well within our capacity as a people at the local level and at the national level and we'll benefit across the board; we will benefit for the next wreck involving your teenage child. We will benefit with the next heart attack involving a member of this room. We will also be better prepared for any disaster that comes down the pike if we take that kind of approach.