Longer Looks: Immigration; The Next Pandemic; How To End Social Distancing; And More
Each week, KHN finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The Myth Of The Disease-Spreading Migrant
On a crisp morning last fall in Tijuana, Mexico, psychologist Diana Hernández knocked on the metal doors of Movimiento Juventud 2000, one of several migrant shelters in this border city. Hernández was there as part of a four-person team of municipal workers tending to the needs of some of Tijuana’s thousands of migrants whose lives are in limbo while they wait to request asylum in the United States or to attend the court hearings that will determine the fate of their asylum requests. (Medrano, 4/22)
Another Time A President Used The 'Emergency' Excuse To Restrict Immigration
This week, with over 40,000 American lives lost to Covid-19, hundreds of thousands more battling the disease—with the U.S. economy at a near-complete standstill and the government printing money at an unprecedented clip to keep people fed and sheltered—Donald Trump announced plans to mobilize the full powers of the presidency. Not to bring order to the 50-state frenzy for medical supplies, or marshal the resources of the government to increase coronavirus testing. Instead, he’s seizing the moment to close borders. “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” Trump tweeted on Monday night. (Zeitz, 4/22)
The 4 Plans To End Social Distancing In The US, Explained
If there is any agreement with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s this: Everyone is looking forward to ending social distancing and reopening the economy. President Donald Trump has loudly advocated for it, sometimes in defiance of public health experts. Other officials, like former Vice President Joe Biden, and experts agree that they want the economy to reopen, but they’re more cautious with making any promises about when and how. (Lopez, 4/14)
The New York Times:
How Scientists Could Stop The Next Pandemic Before It Starts
On a cold morning in February 2018, a group of 30 microbiologists, zoologists and public-health experts from around the world met at the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva. The group was established by the W.H.O. in 2015 to create a priority list of dangerous viruses — specifically, those for which no vaccines or drugs were already in development. The consensus, at least among those in the room, was that as populations and global travel continued to grow and development increasingly pushed into wild areas, it was almost inevitable that once-containable local outbreaks, like SARS or Ebola, could become global disasters. (Kahn, 4/21)
What Does Covid-19 Do To Your Brain?
During the third week of March, as the pandemic coronavirus that causes Covid-19 was beginning to grip the city of Detroit, an ambulance sped through its streets to Henry Ford Hospital. Inside, a 58-year-old airline worker struggled to understand what was happening to her. Like hundreds of other Covid-19 patients flooding the city’s emergency rooms, the woman had a fever, cough, and aching muscles. But something else was happening too—something that had made her suddenly disoriented, unable to remember anything but her name. (Molteni, 4/15)
An FDA Tool To Hasten Approvals Isn't Useful For Breast Cancer Drugs
Nearly two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration published a table of surrogate endpoints that drug developers could reference as they chart a course for winning regulatory approval. But a new study suggested there is a problem — the table fails to provide sufficient evidence that the endpoints listed actually offer improved overall survival in breast cancer patients. Due to “weak or missing correlations” with overall survival, the researchers argued that in most cases, treatments for breast cancer should be granted so-called accelerated approval, a move reserved for medicines that can serve unmet needs. Why? Accelerated approvals require drug makers to conduct followup studies to confirm clinical benefits. (Silverman, 4/17)