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Health News Florida
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StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Perspectives from the pandemic front lines

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Dr. Jay Wolfson, Associate Vice President of Health Law, Policy and Safety at USF, and Dr. Charles Lockwood, Senior Vice President at USF Health.

Dr. Jay Wolfson and a colleague, Dr. Charles Lockwood, discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two University of South Florida colleagues — Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president at USF Health; and Dr. Jay Wolfson, associate vice president of health law, policy and safety — discuss how ill prepared we were for the COVID-19 pandemic and what we as a society, and a nation, need to do to improve.

"We were so ill prepared for this," Lockwood said. "We had neglected our own public health architecture for decades."

Democrats and Republicans bear the brunt of the that blame, Lockwood said. He also said the CDC failed to predict and prevent the pandemic. He said researchers deserve credit for finding a vaccine at "astonishing" speed.

"However, we didn't appreciate [the vaccines] limitations, and they all became politicized," he said. "That led to all sorts of poorly thought out decisions on both the right and the left."

In spite of the problems dealing with a pandemic, Lockwood says he is optimistic about the future.