As the country begins to reopen schools and businesses, there is a clear need for guidance on how to do so safely, including protocols on smart testing that efficiently reduces overall transmission and prioritizes our most vulnerable, hardest-hit populations. In the absence of formal guidance, support and coordination from the federal government, public-private collaborations have stepped in to fill this gap.

Washington Post Live will gather the authors and implementers of a new, first-of-its kind report that provides a framework for public health officials, schools and community leaders on how to use COVID-19 screening test strategies to open and operate safely.


As covid-19 cases and hospitalization in the U.S. climb, there's been new talk of rationing care. But Adm. Brett P. Giroir, assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said there's no need to ration care. “I’d like to put an end to those kinds of rumors because there is no need to ration care. We are in a tremendous supply situation now compared to March or April…We know that almost every state has a 60 to 90 day storage of PPE within that state in addition to all of that we have in the national stock pile.” (Washington Post Live)
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadow told CNN this week that the U.S. is not going to control the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “We’re not going to control the pandemic...We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.” Adm. Brett P. Giroir, assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said he thinks Meadows' statement was "misconstrued. “I think he’s being misconstrued. He did talk about controlling though mitigation. We are not going to completely defeat the virus until we get a vaccine and that vaccine is distributed to the American people and we build up herd immunity in the appropriate way.” Giroir added that most Americans won't receive a vaccine until mid-2021, but he added that he expects -- and hopes-- millions of doses of vaccine will be available before this year is over. (Washington Post Live)
The NBA used rapid-response COVID-19 tests and other safety protocols to keep players safe during the season. When asked if similar testing is possible for institutions like schools, Caitlin Rivers, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said, “I think we will start to see more of those products come on the market in the next few months…The sooner we can understand when best to use these tests, when they perform best, when it might be better to use a different test, those are the gaps in evidence that we’re hoping to fill in.” (Washington Post Live)


Admiral Brett Giroir, 16th Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service

Admiral Brett Giroir is the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and leads more than 6,000 officers in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

As the Secretary’s principal public health and science advisor, the ASH is leading America to healthier lives through promoting vaccination across the lifespan, developing the nation’s report card for health (Healthy People 2030), ending America’s HIV epidemic, preventing and treating substance use disorders, and improving the lives of all suffering health disparities, with a special emphasis on Sickle Cell Disease.

In addition to his role as the ASH, ADM Giroir represents the United States on the World Health Organization Executive Board and was appointed on March 12 to lead the coordination of COVID-19 testing efforts across HHS.

He has served in numerous leadership positions in the federal government and in academic institutions. Most notably, serving as the Acting FDA Commissioner in 2019, and the first physician to serve as an office director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2007.

As a pediatric critical care physician, ADM Giroir brings that hands-on, patient-centered perspective to his work as the ASH.

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Founding Director, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University and former FDA commissioner

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, is Director and Robert J. Margolis, M.D., Professor of Business, Medicine and Policy at the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. He is a physician-economist who focuses on quality and value in health care, including payment reform, real-world evidence and more effective drug and device innovation. His current work on responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency spans virus containment and testing strategies, reforming health care toward more resilient models of delivering care, and accelerating the development of therapeutics and vaccines. He is former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where he developed and implemented major reforms in health policy. Dr. McClellan is an independent board member on the boards of Johnson & Johnson, Cigna, Alignment Healthcare, and PrognomIQ; co-chairs the Guiding Committee for the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network; and serves as an advisor for Blackstone Life Sciences, Arsenal Capital Partners, and MITRE.

Caitlin Rivers, Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Dr. Caitlin Rivers is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on improving public health preparedness and response, particularly by improving capabilities for “outbreak science” and infectious disease modeling to support public health decision making.

Dr. Rivers participated as author or contributor in influential reports that are guiding the US response to COVID-19, including National Coronavirus Response: A Roadmap to Reopening; A National COVID-19 Surveillance System: Achieving Containment; Filling in the Blanks: National Research Needs to Guide Decisions about Reopening Schools in the United States; and A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US. She is the lead author on the report Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors, which is being used by the National Governors Association, the state of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to guide reopening plans. In May 2020, Dr. Rivers testified in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on the COVID-19 response.

Prior to joining the Center in 2017, Dr. Rivers worked as an epidemiologist for the US Army Public Health Center as a Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Scholar. She also participated in a National Science and Technology Council Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology working group. Dr. Rivers serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security.

Content from The Rockefeller Foundation

Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, joined The Post to discuss a new, first-of-its-kind report commissioned by the foundation that provides testing protocols to guide the reopening of businesses, schools and communities. (Washington Post Live)

Rajiv J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Shah serves as President of the Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. The Foundation applies data, science, and innovation to improve health for women and children, create nutritious and sustainable food systems, end energy poverty for more than a billion people worldwide, and enable meaningful economic mobility in the United States and around the world.

In 2009, he was appointed USAID Administrator by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Dr. Shah reshaped the $20 billion agency’s operations in more than 70 countries around the world by elevating the role of innovation, creating high impact public-private partnerships, and focusing US investments to deliver stronger results. Shah secured bipartisan support that included the passage of two significant laws – the Global Food Security Act and the Electrify Africa Act. He led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola pandemic, served on the National Security Council, and elevated the role of development as part of our nation’s foreign policy. Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture where he created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Shah founded Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia and served as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University. Previously, he served at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he created the International Financing Facility for Immunization which helped reshape the global vaccine industry and save millions of lives.

Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business. He has received several honorary degrees, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the U.S. Global Leadership Award. He is married to Shivam Mallick Shah and they have three children.

Interviewed by Elise Labott, Adjunct Professor, American University

Elise Labott is a leading journalist covering foreign US foreign policy and international issues, most recently as CNN’s Global Affairs Correspondent. She has reported from more than . 80 countries, traveled the world with seven secretaries of state and has interviewed many world leaders and newsmakers. Elise is the founder of Twopoint.o Media, a digital media platform that aims to engage, inform and inspire citizens to solve today’s most pressing global challenges, and an adjunct professor at American University’s School of International Service. She is a contributor to Politico, provides commentary for MSNBC, NPR, BBC and several other broadcast outlets and is a sought-after interviewer and moderator. Elise also serves as a global ambassador for Vital Voices, an organization that empowers female entrepreneurs around the world and is on the advisory committee of Global Kids DC, a program which introduces high school students in underserved communities to international affairs. Prior to joining CNN, Elise covered the UN for ABC News and also reported on diplomatic and foreign policy issues for Agence France-Presse and other publications. Elise is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a master’s degree from the New School for Social Research.