HKS Affiliated Authors

Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, HSPH

Additional Authors:

  • George Serafeim
  • Amanda Rischbieth


June 2020, Paper: "The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has demonstrated that response demands involvement from every sector of society. As a major example, some businesses have stepped up in ways previously unimaginable. Garment companies have repurposed production to face masks and other protective equipment. Alcohol distilleries and perfumeries have shifted production to hand sanitizers. Automobile companies, both voluntarily and as compelled by the Defense Production Act, have worked with the ventilator industry to increase production. More broadly, an early analysis estimates that 64% of the US’s 100 largest publicly traded companies have made customer accommodations to COVID-19, including deferred bill payments; 43% have expanded paid sick leave, including, in some cases, for part-time and hourly employees. Such positive changes, however, are in contrast to a host of other public concerns, including that future vaccines and therapeutics may not be affordable for much of the world. In the next phase of the crisis, the safe reopening of society will require intense interactions between the health and business sectors to address these and other issues."