Perspectives: Time To Return The Focus To Testing; Science, Doctors Are Keeping More COVID Patients Alive
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic issues and other health issues.
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Trump Has Derailed The Conversation About Testing And Tracing. It Should Resume.
President Donald Trump has vacillated between claiming the U.S. is doing enough coronavirus testing and claiming testing isn’t the key to safely reopening the economy. Both claims are false. But it’s not too late. Two scholars writing in The Washington Post last month have laid out how, even now, a national testing campaign could work to safely reopen the economy by early July at a cost of about $74 billion. A concerted push by leaders in both parties could force the administration to get on board and finally do what it should have done months ago. (6/7)
The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Good News
Good news: A new study finds that the novel coronavirus has become less lethal over the past few months. While there’s no evidence that mutations are making the virus less deadly, treatments have improved enormously as scientists have learned more. Doctors have observed that the coronavirus case-fatality rate seems to have decreased considerably since the early days of the pandemic. But a pre-publication study from Italian universities and local public-health authorities comparing the case-fatality rates in two provinces (Ferrara and Pescara) during March and April is the first to show this might be true. (6/7)
Contact Tracing Technology Must Protect Against Discrimination
South Korea confirmed dozens of new Covid-19 cases last month, most of them linked to an individual who had visited several nightclubs in Seoul’s Itaewon district before testing positive for the novel coronavirus. In the next few days, public health officials had to trace more than 7,000 people who had recently visited nightclubs in the same district... There was one complication, though: Itaewon is home to many LGBTQ-friendly nightclubs. News reports focused on that detail and included the age, gender, location, and movements of the Covid-19 patient who had been there — all too predictably resulting in an increase in anti-gay rhetoric on social media. (Pardis Sabeti and Andres Colubri, 6/5)
The New York Times:
Could Trump Turn A Vaccine Into A Campaign Stunt?
Oct. 23, 2020, 9 a.m., with 10 days before the election, Fox New releases a poll showing President Trump trailing Joe Biden by eight percentage points. Oct. 23, 2020, 3 p.m., at a hastily convened news conference, President Trump announces that the Food and Drug Administration has just issued an Emergency Use Authorization for a coronavirus vaccine. Mr. Trump declares victory over Covid-19, demands that all businesses reopen immediately and predicts a rapid economic recovery. (Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Paul A. Offit, 6/8)
The New York Times:
How To Reopen America’s Schools
Parents who have watched their children struggle with online learning since schools across the country were closed in March are painfully aware that virtual classes are no substitute for face-to-face instruction. Even so, many of these parents worry that schools might hastily reopen without taking the necessary precautions to shield children — and everyone in the school community — from infection. If this crisis of confidence continues to fester, millions of families could well decide to keep their children home when schools begin opening around the nation this fall. (6/6)
Bangor Daily News:
As Health Care Workers, Wearing A Mask Is All We Ask
Masks have been on our minds, as health care workers, since the pandemic started. First, we were short on surgical masks, so friends and family made us cloth masks, which we knew were less effective but it was better than nothing. As the COVID threat neared, the N95 mask shortage became a more pressing issue. Three months into the battle and despite all the positive news to the contrary, we are still short and even checking on Amazon for N95 masks. (Jabbar Fazeli, 6/6)
The Bio Revolution Is Changing Business And Society
Imagine a world in which we can produce meat without animals, cure previously incurable diseases by editing an individual’s genetic fabric, and manufacture industrial chemicals in yeast factories. The foundational technologies that could make all this possible largely exist. Rapid and ever-cheaper DNA sequencing has deepened our understanding of how biology works and tools such as CRISPR are now being used to recode biology to treat diseases or make crops less vulnerable to climate change. This is what we call the Bio Revolution. (Matthias Evers and Michael Chui, 6/8)