Zika, the Olympics, and Global Health Security

A Marathon Against a Microbe
Filipe Frazao / Shutterstock

Throughout history, microbes have killed more people than wars. Combatting them is a matter of both health and national security. As the number of cases increase in America and throughout the world, and with more than 500,000 people traveling to Brazil for the Olympics this August, intensified efforts are underway to control and prevent further transmission of the virus.

Join New America’s Dr. Susan Blumenthal and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dr. Tom Frieden for a discussion on the outbreak’s origins and whether the Olympics will impact its trajectory; measures that must be taken to stop the spread of Zika and help those already affected; the threat of Zika to you and your family; and the lessons that we need to learn so that the future is both healthier and more secure than the present.

Join the conversation online using #StopZika and by following @HealthHubNA.


Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Susan Blumenthal, MD
Senior Fellow in Health Policy, New America
Senior Medical Advisor, amfAR
Former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General


Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, became Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June, 2009. He has worked to control infectious disease threats, respond to emergencies, and battle the leading causes of death in the United States and around the world. Dr. Friedan served as the Commissioner of the New York City Health Department from 2012-2015. He has published more than 200 scientific articles and received numerous awards for his significant contributions to improving health.

Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A. (ret,) is a senior fellow with the Health Policy Program at New America. For more than two decades, Dr. Blumenthal provided distinguished service as a leading federal government medical expert, as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, and as a spokesperson in the administrations of four U.S. Presidents. She served as assistant surgeon general of the United States, the first-ever deputy assistant secretary for women's health, and was senior global and e-health advisor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Blumenthal was also a White House health advisor, the medical advisor to the Secretary, USDA, chief of the Behavioral Medicine and Basic Prevention Research Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, and chair of the Health and Behavior Coordinating Committee at the National Institutes of Health.