A 2019 study found that the United States is the best-prepared country to handle a pandemic.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative and the John Hopkins Center for Health Security released the study in October.
"Johns Hopkins, highly respected, … they did a study, comprehensive, the countries best and worst prepared for an epidemic," Trump said in the White House briefing room this week. "And the United States, we're rated No. 1."
The team compiled 140 questions and 34 indicators for each country. On a scale to 100, the average score of every country was 40.2.
In comparison, the U.S. scored 83.5 and ranked No. 1 in five of six categories, including prevention, early detection and reporting, rapid response and mitigation, sufficient and robust health system, compliance with international norms. In the category of overall risk environment and vulnerability to biological threats, the U.S. ranked No. 19.
“COVID-19 is the latest global reminder of the power of infectious disease outbreaks to cause significant harm to health, peace, and prosperity if countries are not adequately prepared,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Center for Health Security and one of the co-authors of the preparedness study. “It is important that national leaders recognize these threats and commit to increasing and sustaining countries’ capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to these events.”
The study also said no country is thoroughly prepared for a pandemic such as the global coronavirus pandemic.
"National health security is fundamentally weak around the world," the 324-page report concludes. "No country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics, and every country has important gaps to address."
Of 33 recommendations to countries, the report said there needed to be a summit on biological threats by 2021 and the national government needed to commit to take action to address health security risks.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pornpak Khunatorn
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.