citation

Mark Cancian and Adam Saxton. "What Did the U.S. Military Learn in the First Year of the Pandemic?." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 23, 2021. Accessed April 21, 2021. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/what-did-the-u-s-military-learn-in-the-first-year-of-the-pandemic/

How has the military coped with ensuring its own readiness during the pandemic and how do militaries best support the civilian response to the pandemic? Answers to these questions will not just help the United States prepare for the next public health emergency—natural, accidental, or intentional—but they will have global applications as well.

Photo Credit: PAVEL GOLOVKIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Army Spc. Michael Schwenk, New Jersey Army National Guard
Army Spc. Michael Schwenk, New Jersey Army National Guard Army Spc. Michael Schwenk, New Jersey Army National Guard

Military metaphors suffuse discussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a “wartime effort.” Many commentators, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, wanted to “send in the military” and appoint a “military czar.” This report considers two questions. First, how has the military coped with ensuring its own readiness during the pandemic? Second, how do militaries best support the civilian response to the pandemic? Answers to these questions will not just help the United States prepare for the next public health emergency—natural, accidental, or intentional—but they will have global applications as well.

This report is a product of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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