Voices from DARPA
Episode 24: Preventing Pandemics
We find ourselves in pandemic times. The global population is under siege by an infectious virus new to humankind. It’s called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. It’s the causative agent of the pandemic disease designated COVID-19. This viral adversary knows no politics. It recognizes no national boundaries. It is unconcerned with anyone’s identity. All 7.8 billion of us are the same to the virus: we are all hosts suitable to commandeer to make copies of itself. DARPA has long recognized how devastating pandemic diseases like COVID-19 could be and the Agency embraced the attitude that it could do something about the threat of pandemics. In recent years, it has been creating and supporting communities of innovators who are doing the science and applying the lessons they are learning to create a technology platform that stands a chance of this: preventing any outbreak of infectious disease—anywhere and anytime—from growing into a global conflagration like the one we are experiencing right now. In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, join a team of program managers in the Agency’s Biological Technologies Office as they explain how they are striving to develop a multi-pronged technology platform that has the potential to render COVID-19 humanity’s last pandemic.