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Covid 19 Response

Posted On : January 19, 2022

An organizational, management, or leadership problem within a public health organization: A critical discussion and usefulness of one named theoretical framework in understanding the problem and for developing potential solutions to address that problem.

1.    Introduction:

The first case of COVID-19 was detected on December 31, 2019 (Guan et al., 2020). In a rapid series of events, the virus was identified, its genomics mapped, testing developed, and a working model for containment became available worldwide. There is a significant body of scientific evidence on how to control a pandemic in the published literature (Allot et al., 2017; WHO, 2009; World Health Organization, 2009; Yamamoto, 2013). And yet, the communication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appeared disjointed, confusing, and contradictory at times.   Given the fluid nature of the newly identified infectious agent, CDC should have predicted that the shared information’s uncertain nature may be perceived as organizational incompetence (J. S. Ott & Shafritz, 1994)and unreliable (Hyer et al., 2007). The changing narrative led to diminished credibility, and the perceived void in authority was occupied by alternative reality providers advocating measures for pandemic control with no scientific proof. The public health organization from WH to CDC failed to distinguish between the message delivered and what was perceived by the public. They furthermore did not recognize the need for corrective actions when the messaging gap widened.   The geopolitical implication of the COVID-19 pandemic has been discussed in the literature (Directorate General for External Policies of the Union, 2020), and it appears that most local and regional recommendations were influenced based on socioeconomic and political factors. The contradictions received by the public fueled the skepticism. Lack of leadership at the levels of the administration of the US government is examined in this report. Changes to existing theoretical frameworks are needed to accommodate the rapidly evolving 21st-century digital information and communication platforms and the widening perception of delivered public health messages. Link to Full Article

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