The Aftermath of Coronavirus Disease 2019

Devastation or a New Dawn for Nephrology?

Rajiv Agarwal


Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2020;35(6):904-907. 

In This Article


Some changes are already evident. For example, the Food and Drug Administration issued new guidance for research during the pandemic and approved diagnostic tests in a matter of days. It also approved within a matter of days emergency use authorization for the use of imported anesthesia gas machines modified for use as ventilators. Trials of vaccines and drugs were fast-tracked. But the future of research is moot.

In a 2015 Ted Talk, 'The next outbreak? We're not ready', Bill Gates speculated rather accurately that it is not a nuclear disaster but a virus that will kill more of humanity.[16] Yet globally, the allocation of national budgets to healthcare is often a fraction of defense budgets. If our society recognizes that a more realistic enemy we face is an infection—and not a nuclear war—it may dedicate more resources to healthcare as a deterrent to this calamity. If we so decide, then the resources to study and prevent such pandemics are the most likely beneficiaries. Hopefully there will be the political will to bolster the healthcare infrastructure, including research funding that is needed to predict, prevent and fight not only such pandemics, but also diseases such as chronic kidney disease that claim more lives than a pandemic.