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March 18, 2024

Infected Policies: Medical Populism and Public Policy in Times of Global Crisis

Event Series: Global Public Health Seminars

A person wearing a medical glove preparing an injection

Populist political actors across the Americas and Europe promoted "medical populism" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, using it as a tool to oversimplify complex issues, forge divisions, and distort scientific evidence. Amélie Jaques-Apke, currently a visiting scholar-in-residence at the School of International Service at American University, shared pivotal insights from her forthcoming book project and comparative study on how populist leaders in government and opposition roles in Latin America, North America, and Europe have responded to the COVID-19 crisis. Her research not only highlights the differences and parallels across different regions and political landscapes but also takes into account local elements such as authoritarian tendencies, the rule of law, and the concentration of political power. This timely research sheds light on the complex dynamics between populism and science at a crucial juncture in global public health. The discussion explored implications for public health governance and offered insights into building resilience against medical populism in times of crisis.

This event was open to all Georgetown University faculty, students, staff, and affiliates.

This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Global Health Science and Security, the School of Health’s Department of Health Management and Policy, and the Global Health Institute.


Amélie Jaques-Apke is a visiting scholar-in-residence at the American University School of International Service and doctoral researcher at the Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS) at the University of Salzburg focusing on democracy, the rule of law, human rights, international security, and foreign affairs. Her Ph.D. and forthcoming book examine the politicization of the COVID-19 crisis in the Americas and Europe. Her areas of expertise include security and defense, European Union studies, and Latin American politics. She is also the founder and chief executive officer of the think tank Young Security Conference.