Perspectives: Dangers Of ‘Herd Immunity’ Strategy; Battling COVID Fatigue; Safe Vaccine Needed
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic topics and others.
Protect Vulnerable, Let Virus Spread To The Young? Why It's A Terrible Plan
There’s a mistaken and dangerous idea spreading like a virus – that we can let COVID spread among young, healthy people as long as we protect the vulnerable.The idea is appealing but it would backfire. In fact, following this advice would lead to more Americans being killed by COVID than were killed in all the wars of the 20th Century. (Ex-CDC Chief Tom Frieden, 10/19)
The New York Times:
What Fans Of ‘Herd Immunity’ Don’t Tell You
So the idea of returning to something akin to normal — releasing everyone from a kind of jail — is attractive, even seductive. It becomes less seductive when one examines three enormously important omissions in the declaration. First, it makes no mention of harm to infected people in low-risk groups, yet many people recover very slowly. More serious, a significant number, including those with no symptoms, suffer damage to their heart and lungs. One recent study of 100 recovered adults found that 78 of them showed signs of heart damage. We have no idea whether this damage will cut years from their lives or affect their quality of life. (John M. Barry, 10/19)
COVID Doctor: Herd Immunity Rests On Naive And Faulty Logic. In Practice, People Will Die.
Winter is coming and we are headed towards the feared intersection of COVID-19 and flu season. Yet already the coronavirus is surging across the world and the United States, the global leader in number of coronavirus deaths, is moving closer to a quarter-million fatalities. Our medical system could be overwhelmed if hospitalizations increase. This is why I am concerned about the reports that some officials and policymakers in the White House are considering “herd immunity” as a strategy to combat the pandemic. This is dangerous, callous and flawed thinking. (Dr. Thomas Ken Lew, 10/20)
The Washington Post:
Of Course We’re Tired Of The Coronavirus, Mr. President. Wishful Thinking Won’t Make It Go Away.
Of course we are tired of covid. More than 8 million Americans have been infected by the novel coronavirus and at least 219,000 have died, more than in any other country. Some number of those deaths can be attributed to Mr. Trump’s adoption of wishful thinking as policy. He has resisted a national testing plan and a national public health strategy, and he continually encourages reckless behavior and mocks prudence. The result is more unemployment, more illness, more misery. (10/19)
Trump Closes His Campaign By Insulting Fauci For Telling The Truth
President Donald Trump's election endgame argument, far from bristling with new solutions to a pandemic that has killed 220,000 Americans, on Monday devolved into a campaign of insults against Dr. Anthony Fauci -- for telling the truth about the disease. Trump ridiculed Fauci as a "disaster" and an "idiot" who has been around for "500 years" -- trashing one of the nation's best hopes of easing the pandemic along with his recommendations to quell an alarming Covid-19 surge. (Stephen Collinson, 10/20)
America's Last Line Of Defense For A Safe Vaccine
When the Food and Drug Administration ran into White House resistance to its proposed vaccine safety standards in early October, the agency took a bold step: It published the guidance on its Web site. The public could now see what vaccine manufacturers and the FDA’s own independent advisory panel would require to ensure a longer, scientifically rigorous process. (Julie Morita and Edward Belongia, 10/19)
The Washington Post:
Another Stimulus Package Is Inevitable. Here’s What It Should Look Like.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are reportedly locked in talks about another round of pandemic-related economic relief. The economy’s continuing weakness means that another stimulus bill is inevitable, whether it arrives before or after the election. That means it’s crucial for policymakers of both parties to understand the uniqueness of this recession, and how that means a relief package must be crafted differently from traditional models if it is to have the most impact. (Henry Olsen, 10/19)
Trump's Campaigning Stoops To New Lows As Covid Cases Spike
President Donald Trump and the pandemic he is supposed to be fighting are running out of control with the two weeks until Election Day shaping up as among the most ugly and divisive periods ever ahead of a presidential vote. He's on a fresh collision course with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who's publicly questioning why Trump thinks mask wearing is weak after a wild weekend that saw the President, who's trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls and still playing to his base, pack swing state rallies that flouted his government's Covid-19 protocols. (Stephen Collinson, 10/19)
COVID And Loneliness: Isolation Can Kill People, Especially Seniors
Recent analysis of federal data suggests that isolation has contributed to 13,200 excess dementia deaths since the pandemic’s start. To prevent COVID outbreaks, nursing homes have curtailed family visits and social activities, such as group classes and shared meals, that help stimulate the mind and blunt dementia’s ravages. (Stacy Torres, 10/20)