Watch: Mark Dybul calls for global task force on COVID-19

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Mark Dybul, former head of PEPFAR and the Global Fund, speaks with Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar. Via YouTube.

In a wide-ranging interview on the COVID-19 crisis Tuesday, global health leader Mark Dybul called for a greater focus on how the pandemic might spread in the global south and on specific mitigation steps.

Dybul, the former head of both PEPFAR and the Global Fund, made a specific call to immediately gather the African, American, and European experts who directed the West African Ebola response to form a kind of task force. This group, he said, would be responsible for ensuring the major global health agencies — including USAID, the Global Fund, Gavi, and the World Bank, among others — have clear plans to quickly support health ministries in case tracking, testing, and a range of mitigation and treatment protocols.

“There should be a system to pull everyone together,” Dybul said in the interview with Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar. “We should be simulating, in the United States and globally, where this could go and how. Model it out. … As we get more data, we can actually use models to help us understand where it could go and how we should be responding and where we should be putting our resources.”

The hourlong interview touched on how COVID-19 might spread globally, vaccine development and virus mutation, and the potential timeline for COVID-19 social distancing, among many other related topics.

More interviews with humanitarian leaders on COVID-19. Watch:
How Jan Egeland sees the crisis developing
Amref Health Africa CEO on the impact on NGO finances
Unacceptable — community health workers without COVID-19 protective gear
Former OFDA chief gives Trump administration a ‘D’ on response
How behavioral science is changing the response

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About the author

  • Raj Kumar

    Raj Kumar is the Founding President and Editor-in-Chief at Devex, the media platform for the global development community. He is a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His work has led him to more than 50 countries, where he has had the honor to meet many of the aid workers and development professionals who make up the Devex community. He is the author of the book "The Business of Changing the World," a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.