California was devastated by COVID-19. Earlier detection and containment of COVID-19 would have saved lives and money, reduced suffering, prevented lockdowns, and allowed schools and businesses to remain open. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated weaknesses in our public health system and in our public schools, making the need to bolster these critical areas even more dire.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over 70,000 deaths in California, wiped $200B from the state’s economy, and cost over $20B in direct costs (testing, tracing, etc). Classrooms and the nation’s largest public university system stood empty, restaurants and hotels were shuttered, and our ports saw their volume dwindle to a trickle. As a result, California saw unemployment more than double, with the hardest hit being those in the service industries (retail, hospitality, etc.), transportation, those making minimum wage, and teachers.
The California Institute for Pandemic Prevention (CIPP) will reduce harm of future pandemics by detecting and stopping transmission early, before large-scale lockdowns are required, and reducing the extent to which pandemics exacerbate inequality.