As we still fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic through testing, vaccination, and access to quality healthcare, we must do everything we can to prepare for the next pandemic. The United States should be a world leader in pandemic preparedness. The first step in doing so is to analyze the failure of the federal government to effectively respond to the coronavirus. Experts have warned that the next pandemic could be much worse, and we cannot afford to be caught flat footed once again. In order to properly prepare, Congress must increase funding for vaccine development and retool the Federal Drug Administration’s approval guidelines to make developing lifesaving vaccines as fast and efficient as possible. We must ensure that all healthcare workers and everyday Americans have access to the personal protective equipment they need to keep themselves safe. We must take the hard lessons we’ve learned battling COVID-19 and turn them into action.