York U global health expert available on coronavirus outbreak; WHO’s role


TORONTO, January 22, 2020 – As the number of coronavirus cases climbs, the WHO convenes an emergency meeting today on the novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China. The US confirmed its first case in Washington state this week.


Professor Steven J. Hoffman, a professor of global health, law, and political science and the director of the Global Strategy Lab at York University’s Faculty of Health recently advised the World Health Organization on development of a global strategy for health systems research and was lead author on the background paper that provided the strategy's conceptual underpinnings.

He is available for interviews via phone and skype on:

  • How does this outbreak compare to SARS?
  • Is Canada prepared for an outbreak like this?
  • What criteria does the WHO use to declare an outbreak a public health emergency of international concern?
  • What do we know about this new coronavirus?
  • What is the role of the WHO in outbreaks like this?

Hoffman previously worked as a Project Manager for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and as a Fellow in the Executive Office of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York City, where he offered strategic and technical input on a range of global health issues.

Watch Hoffman explain this new coronavirus and potential next steps in a video here.

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Media Contact:  Anjum Nayyar, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 44543 or  anayyar@yorku.ca