Today: Has the COVID-19 pandemic made the world more prepared for the future

Two years ago this week, the world changed after the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic. After two years of living through COVID-19, have we learned important lessons that will help us be better prepared for future diseases? NBC’s Dr. John Torres talked with Dr. Tom Frieden on this week’s Sunday Spotlight.

Politico: Nowhere is safe: Record number of patients contracted Covid in the hospital in January

Shama Cash-Goldwasser, senior technical adviser at Resolve to Save Lives, a group run by former CDC director Tom Frieden that aims to prevent epidemics, said it’s impossible for hospitals to bring transmission to zero, particularly when facilities are crowded and staff are overwhelmed as they have been during Covid-19 surges. “It’s unfortunate,” she said. “I’m not saying it’s OK … Immunocompromised patients and very sick people are at very high risk of poor outcomes, so transmission inside a hospital can really be devastating.”

CNN: The US still isn’t getting Covid-19 data right

“Lack of accurate, real-time information was one of the greatest failures of the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March 2021.

New York Times: Biden’s Pandemic Fight: Inside the Setbacks of the First Year

Experts like Dr. Tom Frieden, the C.D.C. director under Mr. Obama, have predicted three possible scenarios ahead: that the nation reaches a kind of truce with the virus, with clusters of outbreaks; that the virus weakens to a threat more akin to a common cold; or that, in the worst case, a variant emerges that combines the contagiousness of Omicron with the virulence of Delta.

Dr. Frieden said the White House must plan for them all. Some former Biden advisers have called for the president to plan for the “new normal” — and accept that Covid-19 is here to stay.

Washington Post: CDC director, under fire for confusing guidance, seeks to reshape messaging

Former CDC Director Tom Frieden welcomed the news the agency was holding its own briefings with subject-matter experts. “These briefings are helpful in sharing what we are learning when we are learning it, explaining and providing the basis of recommendations, and answering important questions from journalists,” he said in a statement. “I hope this will be an inflection point in rebuilding confidence in CDC.”