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A Tale of Two Responses: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Pandemic
9:30am - 10:30am EDT
Virtual Event


The United States is grappling with one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. Many are looking to countries that controlled their outbreaks to understand what went wrong and where to go from here.

This edition of The World Today, organized in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, brings together leading public health experts from Germany and the United States to compare their countries’ responses.

What can the United States learn from European responses to the pandemic, and what factors affected public health outcomes the most? While many countries closed their borders and competed with one another for medical supplies, is there still hope for European and trans-Atlantic collaboration as the world works towards long-term recovery? Will the competition continue over a vaccine?

Join Penn’s Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Dr. Lothar H. Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national public health institute, for a virtual conversation with Michael C. Horowitz of Perry World House and Karen Donfried of the German Marshall Fund.

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Ezekiel J. Emanuel headshotEzekiel J. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. From January 2009 to January 2011, he served as special advisor for health policy to the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the White House. From 1997 to 2011, he was chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. He is also a breast oncologist.

Lothar Wieler headshotProf. Lothar H. Wieler is president of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany’s national Public Health institute. A veterinarian by training, Lothar Wieler has focused his research on zoonotic diseases, i.e. infections that are passed between animals and humans, and account for many of the newly (re-)emerging infectious diseases. Lothar Wieler is executive board member of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI). He is also a member of the scientific advisory board of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) and the WHO Europe Advisory Committee on Health Research (EACHR). Since 2010, he is also an elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences. Prof. Wieler is also a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH) of the World Health Organization

Karen Donfried headshotKaren Donfried is president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening transatlantic cooperation. Before assuming this position in April 2014, Donfried was special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council. Prior to that, she served on the National Intelligence Council, the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, and at the Congressional Research Service. Donfried is a trustee of Wesleyan University, her undergraduate alma mater. She received her doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Magister from the University of Munich.

Michael Horowitz headshotMichael C. Horowitz is Director of Perry World House and Richard Perry Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics, and the co-author of Why Leaders Fight. He won the 2017 Karl Deutsch Award given by the International Studies Association for early career contributions to the fields of international relations and peace research. He has published in a wide array of peer reviewed journals and popular outlets. Professor Horowitz previously worked for the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the Department of Defense. He is affiliated with the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Professor Horowitz received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and his B.A. in political science from Emory University.