Dr. Richard Besser is the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United States' largest philanthropy focused solely on health and health care. Besser is the former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ABC News’ former chief health and medical editor. He was recently named to a multi-state council by Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey aimed at restoring the regional economy. Today, he discusses what his foundation is doing throughout this pandemic and how his experience developing emergency response preparedness at CDC has influenced his response now.
As Dr. Besser explains, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been working for 50 years to improve the life expectancies and health of low income Americans. But now, they’ve pivoted to providing more short term aid to just get people through this crisis. While regional shutdowns and social distancing are necessary, Dr. Besser says the burden of these policies is hitting low income people the hardest. He says it is time for government at every level to take a more tailored approach to help those most impacted by this crisis.
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