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Law, Policy and Pandemic Preparedness and Response

March 4, 2020
Lainie Rutkow, one of Johns Hopkins University’s leaders in public health and emergency preparedness, joined the Kissinger Center for a discussion on the intersection of law and health crisis management.  Her lecture, Law, Policy and Pandemic Preparedness and Response, helped PhD candidates who joined virtually from across the country, understand the basics of epidemiology and how to utilize legal structures to implement policies that can contain and curb the spread of disease. 
Her talk focused on the tension between public health initiatives and individual rights.  Dr. Rutkow spoke about the historical challenges the international system has faced in implementing standards across diverse legal traditions. Her lecture was especially pertinent given the recent uptick in COVID-19 infections and questions around how to manage a global response. Students engaged in discussion about how to implement an effective and consistent global strategy that accommodates different legal systems.  Students also discussed historical analogies such as the Spanish Influenza and other more recent viral infections that have triggered global policy reactions, such as Zika, Ebola, SARS and MERS.
Lainie Rutkow, PhD, JD, is the Senior Advisor to JHU’s President, Ron Daniels, for National Capital Academic Strategy and a professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Trained as a public health lawyer and researcher, Dr. Rutkow's work focuses on use of the law (i.e., legislation, regulation, litigation) to protect and promote the public's health. She uses legal, qualitative, and quantitative methods to conduct research about public health law and policy, with an emphasis on emergency preparedness and state and local public health legal innovation.
This virtual lecture is part of the IPSCON Program’s Carnegie Squares Seminar Series which allows students in IPSCON to talk with policymakers and experts on relevant policy challenges. You can learn more about IPSCON by visiting our IPSCON webpage.