(c) 2022 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 18, 2021

What are you Looking Forward to After the Pandemic? What is in your Risk Budget?

A panel of infectious disease experts and public health specialists of the Veterans Administration who have been involved in the national COVID response has a roundtable discussion about going forward following the Pandemic.  

Topics discussed:
  1. How did behavior change after the 1918 Spanish Flu (America's Forgotten Pandemic), and what should we plan now for better day-to-day life and future pandemics. 
  2. An update on the evolution of Sar-CoV-2 and new variants:
    • Variants of Interest
    • Variants of Concern
    • Variants of High Concern
  3. The NOVAVAX vaccine announcement and its actual effectiveness
  4. Masking going forward and the importance of being able to gather evidence through control and environmental studies.



Moderator:   Dr. Michael A Gelman MD/PhD
Dr. Gelman received his MD/PhD degrees from the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Wisconsin; his work there is the subject of two patents and several publications. During medical school, he also served at the CDC’s International Emerging Infections Program in Thailand, the start of a career-long interest in epidemiology, emerging infectious diseases, and pathogens with pandemic potential. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Washington Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Stanford.

In 2015, Dr. Gelman turned from his NIH-funded research on a family of broad-spectrum antivirals, for which he is listed as an inventor on multiple patents, to join the Veterans Health Administration* as Medical Director of Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. Locally, he was recognized in 2019 with the Friend of Pharmacy award and in 2020, before the pandemic wave, he was named Physician of the Year - Partner in Collaboration. He is national co-chair of the COVID-19 Testing Clinical Guidance Workgroup for VA.

Dr. Gelman also holds courtesy faculty positions at Columbia University and at the Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and is a member of the medical staff at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, NJ, where he practices as an infectious diseases consultant. He is an investigator on multiple clinical trials past and present, including several trials of COVID-19 therapy and prophylaxis. He is also a founder of Pandemic Preparedness Experts LLC, a consulting corporation.

*Affiliation for identification purposes only. Content of this website does not reflect the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.


Dr. Sophie G Califano MD/MPH
Deputy Chief Consultant for Preventive Medicine at Veterans Health Administration, National Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention.

Gio Bracacco Lira MD, 
Chief of Infectious Disease at the Miami VA Healthcare System and Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr. Joe Francis, MD/MPHChief Quality and Performance Officer at Veterans Health Administration 

VIDEO: Streaming On-demand link: 

Podcast link on Spreaker:

Related podcast links:

A podcast about the 1918 pandemic
Spit Spreads Death | Science History Institute

VOI / VOC / Variants of High Consequence definitions per CDC:

Exhibits | Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia (