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After millions of infections and deaths and the worst economic crash since the Great Depression, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the modern world. But the pandemic also brings opportunity to consider the future of the United States in many ways, according to Thomas Wright, senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. He is the co-author of “Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order” with Colin Kahl.

  • Wright said the United States should form an alliance with like-minded countries to commit to higher levels of transparency, coordination and public health action to prepare for future crises, as a backup plan to working with China and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • He said the Covid-19 pandemic came at one of the worst possible moments, as world leaders were hardly speaking after a rise in populism, authoritarianism and geopolitical rivalry over the last decade.
  • Wright argued the international order has changed, upending the assumptions that major powers will work together on common problems and that the United States would take the lead in organizations like the WHO.

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