The Coronavirus Pandemonium

A Conversation with Mara Pillinger

Recorded in March 2020

Global Futures is a podcast about global politics and how developed and developing countries are transforming it. We discuss foreign policy, economics, war and peace, and how the world is changing with experts from across the globe.

International cooperation and multilateral approaches are being strained by rising populism and nationalism. The unabated march of the novel coronavirus (COVID19) across the globe threatens to further entrench unilateral approaches and nationalistic attitudes at a time when a global response is needed to combat this pandemic. Yet, we see travel bans being introduced, countries closing their boarders, schools and offices closing their doors, and shortages of medical and household supplies on the rise. COVID19 is the most recent example of how seemingly unpolitical and unideological issues can be politicized, becoming a potentially decisive matter such as this year’s US presidential elections.

In this episode, Joel Sandhu from the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) talks with Mara Pillinger about what makes COVID19 so different from other epidemics and pandemics. Mara explains the difference between an epidemic and pandemic; whether travel bans could work to tackle COVID19; whether she thinks the US is doing enough to prepare itself for the pandemic; and now that its 2020, what impact is this pandemic going to have on the upcoming US elections.

Mara is an Associate at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC where she is part of the Global Health Policy and Governance Initiative. Her research focuses on the political, organizational and power dynamics at work behind the scenes of the World Health Organization and major multisectoral global health partnerships.. .

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