This commentary argues that the public health community must use the COVID-19 pandemic to promote a science-based policy agenda using honest and transparent communication to build international collaborations for advancing the common good of humanity.
The author argues that with COVID-19 we are facing the most cataclysmic failure of public health in generations. This is due to inadequate funding for prevention efforts; hostility towards science, particularly public health science; a deceptive and misinformed government; and disdain for collaboration among international communities. However, to be successful, public health leaders must depend on a scientific system that is open, honest, trustworthy, and cooperative. Through all the failures, many lessons have been learned from COVID-19, particularly that we must rely on prevention and scientific principles to face the daunting challenges that lie ahead, even after the pandemic fades. Communicating openly and honestly with policymakers and the public will improve public health worldwide.