U.S.-China Public Health Collaboration on Coronavirus

On February 3, during a press briefing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ms. Hua Chunying told the reported that Chinese government has briefed the US government 30 times on the novel coronavirus situation in China since January 3, 2020. This revelation has shocked the Chinese people as the their government did make the situation fully public until January 20, 2020.

On February 7, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump had a conference call during which they talked about US-China collaboration in fighting against pandemics.

Timely information sharing on pandemics by the Chinese government with the US government is warranted by agreement reached between Washington and Beijing after close collaboration between the US and China in China’s fight against SARS. The evolution of this collaboration is little known outside the public health community in both China and the U.S.

On February 5, 2020, Jennifer Bouey of the Rand Corporation testified before the Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the U.S. House of Representatives about  U.S.-China public health collaboration responding to pandemics in China from SARS in 2002 to the 2019-Coronavirus (nCoV) today. Bouey discusses the history of pandemics in China from SARS, to bird flu, swine flu, and MERS, and their impact on U.S.-China collaboration. Following SARS, the U.S. and China “signed a multiyear partnership…to develop a more robust public health infrastructure in China” and both countries shared information and technology to monitor the spread the viruses. But what lessons has the Chinese government learned from these earlier outbreaks? Read the report below or at the Rand Corporation website to learn more.