Professor Paul Hunter – Striking A Balance – Why We Must Accept Coronavirus Is Not Going Anywhere

Professor of Medicine at the University of East Anglia and member of the WHO Health Emergencies Panel

Professor Paul Hunter is an infectious disease expert and Professor of Medicine at the University of East Anglia. Throughout 2020, he has served as a member of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Experts Advisory Panel for Infection Prevention and Control Preparedness, Readiness and Response to COVID-19.

In his long and luminary career, Professor Hunter’s interests centre around outbreaks of infectious disease and their management, and how such epidemics occurred through transmission from food, water or the environment, making his area of expertise particularly relevant during the current Coronavirus crisis.

With over 300 research papers to his name and the first Professor of Health Protection to be appointed in the UK, Professor Hunter has been cited over 22,000 times, writing publications on Ebola and the Zika virus, while his pioneering work on the impact of inadequate access to safe water and sanitation on health is hugely significant.

Despite such a depth of knowledge and understanding, insight into the necessary response and desire to find workable solutions, little could have prepared him for what has been an extraordinary period in modern medical history.

So much has happened, over the last 9 months, it’s hard to know where to begin, but, it’s with gratitude we welcome Professor Hunter on the show to discuss how and why the pandemic and the response to it has unfolded the way it has.

Professor Hunter has spoken in great detail about the impact of restrictions on our younger generation and the need to protect those in our care homes while acknowledging the importance of accurate data modelling.

He highlights the confusion around government policy response and the role science has played in public perception while noting where policies have succeeded and failed, what we could have done better and why we must use this information to better prepare for such an event in the future.

It will surely be an honest and revelatory conversation that will provide some much-needed answers to questions of how we managed to find ourselves in such a precarious position and what should be done next.

The confusion around the ever-changing policy response from our politicians and the role data modelling has played in this pandemic deserves scrutiny as we prepare ourselves for the challenges that lie ahead, and we welcome Professor Hunter to share his expertise on how best to approach these challenges.