Viewpoints: FDA Needs To Step Up Pace For COVID-19 Treatments; Pros, Cons Of Wearing Masks
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care issues stemming from the pandemic and others.
The Wall Street Journal:
Bet Big On Treatments For Coronavirus
Some imagine that the coronavirus will run its tragic course in the spring, with the direst results avoided by intense social-distancing and other mitigation efforts, and then our lives can more or less return to normal in the summer. But that isn’t realistic. Even if new cases start to stall in the summer heat, the virus will return in the fall, and so will fresh risk of large outbreaks and even a new epidemic. People will still be reluctant to crowd into stores, restaurants or arenas. Schools may remain closed. The public’s fears won’t relent simply because there are fewer new cases. We’ll be running an 80% economy. (Scott Gottlieb, 4/5)
The New York Times:
Healthcare Workers Are Begging For Masks. Is The President Listening?
Health care professionals are still going to work each day without sufficient masks, gloves, gowns and other supplies, and are begging for proper personal protective equipment (P.P.E.). In a country that spends more on health care than anywhere else on the planet, masks are being rationed or reused, and some hospital workers are even using novelty rain ponchos to protect themselves. Health care workers around the country are falling ill and dying — The Brooklyn Hospital Center estimated a third of its doctors and nurses are home sick with the virus. Meanwhile, President Trump has openly accused health care workers of being wasteful and hoarding masks. (Sanya Dosani, 4/6)
Why I Don’t Feel Safe Wearing A Face Mask
I thought I could use one of my old bandanas as a mask. But then my voice of self-protection reminded me that I, a Black man, cannot walk into a store with a bandana covering the greater part of my face if I also expect to walk out of that store. The situation isn’t safe and could lead to un-intended attention, and ultimately a life-or-death situation for me. For me, the fear of being mistaken for an armed robber or assailant is greater than the fear of contracting COVID-19. (Aaron Thomas, 4/5)
The Washington Post:
How Long Will We Doctors Last?
There are tents outside our hospitals. Every time I see them, I stop, startled. Their drab and dirty flaps seem so out of place against the grand facades of world-class hospitals. Desperate times, desperate measures. The last time I worked in a tent was West Africa in 2014, during the Ebola outbreak. In those same tents, I saw too much pain, loneliness and death. People dying alone. I never thought I’d have to see or experience that ever again. I never wanted to. Once was painful enough. (Craig Spencer, 4/3)
Coronavirus: 884 Hidden Deaths Are Revealed, And More To Come
In one day last week, France’s official death toll from Covid-19 rose by a staggering 1,355. The cause was not just the severity and speed of a coronavirus disease that has infected more than 1 million people and killed 50,000 around the world, but also the brutality of fresh data. The new tally included 884 deaths in nursing homes that had gone uncounted since the start of the crisis. While that should stoke concerns over the quality of the statistics the general public and policy makers are poring over every day — and on the likely under-counting of deaths — it should also alert us to an unfolding tragedy happening on the pandemic’s front lines. It’s not just hospitals that need help, but all institutions that care for the frail and infirm. (Lionel Laurent, 4/6)
How The Very Rich Are Different In The Covid-19 Fight
I have spent two decades reporting on people at the nexus of money, power and culture. I've written books about corruption among the country's wealthiest 1%, Wall Street greed and the ruthlessness of New York real estate titans. So these past few weeks I have been on the phone to many people who are not stuck, like me, in a New York City apartment, where we are on constant alert for the ominous sound of sirens puncturing the silence with increasing frequency. (Vickey Ward, 4/6)
The New York Times:
Will The Virus Trigger A Second Arab Spring?
On a recent visit to Libya, I met a family living in an improvised shelter in a displaced persons camp east of Tripoli. One of the tens of thousands Libyan families uprooted by war, the family of seven was living in a room barely 20 paces long and half as wide. A clothesline, a pile of mattresses, a hot plate and the stench of body odor filled the room. Outside, they faced a shortage of potable water and abusive taunts from locals. The spread of the novel coronavirus will have a devastating effect on the Middle East’s communities of refugees and migrants. The pandemic may also bring into focus the legitimacy and governance deficit of increasingly troubled Middle Eastern regimes. (Frederic Wehrey, 4/6)