Apropos to Boonstra’s post below, Faculty chair of the University of Chicago Center for Health Administration Studies Harold Pollack  writes in to say an episode like Swine Flu underscores the necessity of the WHO and other international public health forums. Says Pollack:

The United States and Mexico (and many other countries as well) share common agricultural ecosystems and have tremendous human migration and commercial flows that provide conduits for diseases to spread. By providing a reservoir of information and expertise, along with the structures to provide a coordinated response, WHO allows a vastly more effective response than could be mounted by any single country, certainly including the U.S.  Even when judged by the exclusive metric of American population health, these organizations are a bargain at twice the price.

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