Viewpoints: Lessons On Asia’s Success With COVID; Pros, Cons Of Making The FDA Independent
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic topics and on other public health issues, as well.
Covid-19: South Korea And China Show Europe And U.S. How To Handle A Pandemic
It’s easy to feel that there’s no light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Europe’s intensive care wards are filling up again, pushing France and Germany into a fresh round of stay-at-home restrictions and lockdowns — albeit ones designed to be softer than the first. Even countries hit hard by the first wave, such as Italy and Sweden, are seeing rising cases, suggesting herd immunity is a long way off. The U.S. looks to have given up on controlling the pandemic until a vaccine arrives. Yet we shouldn’t ignore the better news from Asia. The strategies pursued by South Korea, Vietnam, China and others do still seem to be paying off. (Lionel Laurent, 11/2)
Is It Time For The FDA To Become An Independent Body?
Public health experts and lay observers alike have expressed concerns that, under political pressure, the Food and Drug Administration will prematurely approve an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a Covid-19 vaccine even if the data do not support it. The FDA has pushed back against this possibility. But the reality is that if the Trump administration has the political will, it can overturn the FDA’s preferences. (Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, 11/3)
Failed Trump COVID Response Kills Health Workers. Where's The Outrage?
In the United States, we value the lives of those who protect us. According to the FBI, 89 law enforcement officers died in line-of-duty incidents last year. Each of those deaths is a tragedy, often marked by funeral processions of hundreds of squad cars from around the country. We mourn those deaths because we know the officers died protecting us. Perhaps that’s one reason we see so many “Defend the Police” yard signs. What would the country do if more than 1,000 police officers — more than a tenfold increase — died in a single year? ...Yet during COVID-19, we’re seeing a group of public servants dying in the line of duty with comparatively little fanfare. (Scott Deitchman, Bryan Hardin, Mitchell Cohen and Richard Lemen, 11/2)
Trump Is Wrong: Doctors Are Not Profiting From Covid. We Are Being Consumed By It
In the thoughtlessness that has become the hallmark of his presidency, Donald Trump stated at a rally this week that doctors are falsely inflating the numbers of coronavirus deaths for financial gain. These are fabricated musings, seemingly designed to shift blame from his own lack of competence by creating a false narrative for the American public. (Janice Blanchard, 11/2)
Heed The Will Of The People For Covid-19 Vaccines
In an extended crisis, the “middle hour” is when we become weary of the challenge and grow impatient with the sacrifice required to meet it. It is often the most precarious time. That’s where we are now with Covid-19. (Dirk Kempthorne and Deval Patrick, 11/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
Europe’s Covid Hospital Lesson
Europeans are back under lockdown as another virus surge threatens to overwhelm their hospitals, which even before the pandemic were sick and malnourished. This is a side effect of government-run health care and a warning to the U.S. More than half of the ICU beds in France and two-thirds in Paris are occupied by Covid patients. “At this stage, we know that whatever we do, nearly 9,000 patients will be in intensive care by mid-November, which is almost the entirety of French capacities,” President Emmanuel Macron explained last week as he ordered a second national lockdown. (11/2)
Atlanta Journal Constitution:
On Suburban Atlanta, COVID-19, And – At Long Last – An End To The Civil War
Nineteen years ago, a Georgia governor succeeded in bringing down a state flag that dripped with Confederate symbolism. The act helped send Democrats into an exile that is only now coming to an end. If not Tuesday, then soon.We do not know who will carry this state – Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Yet the not knowing is significant. In Georgia, presidential uncertainty hasn’t made it to November since 1992.And regardless of the outcome, we do know who will lose on this Election Day – Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and those who think a future can still be built on what remains of their legacy. (Jim Galloway, 11/2)
Election Day Stress Disorder Grips The Nation
Do you currently suffer from: chronic insomnia; relentless feelings of panic or dread; rapid heart rate, breathing or perspiration; difficulty focusing or thinking clearly; and/or an obsession with tweets by people named Nate? Then you may be experiencing Election Day stress disorder (EDSD). Not to be confused with politicophobia, a general fear of politics, EDSD is a syndrome unique to the American electorate. It’s relatively new but has gotten far worse since roughly Election Day 2016. The president’s supporters naturally fear the steady polling lead of rival Joe Biden. But everyone else in the country has much more to fear, writes Jonathan Bernstein, from the still-real possibility of Donald Trump’s re-election to his and his followers’ threats to subvert democracy to make it happen, up to and including violence. (Mark Gongloff, 11/2)
Dallas Morning News:
Is Your Brain Fit To Defend Itself Against Fake News?
Whenever you hear something repeated, it feels more true when you hear it repeated. In other words, repetition makes any statement seem more true. So anything you hear will feel more true each time you hear it again. Each of the three sentences above conveyed the same message. Yet each time you read the next sentence, it felt more and more true. Cognitive neuroscientists like myself call this the illusory truth effect. Illusory truth is one consequence of a phenomenon called “cognitive fluency,” meaning how easily we process information. Much of our vulnerability to deception in all areas of life revolves around cognitive fluency. Unfortunately, such misinformation can swing major elections, such as the 2016 presidential election. Fortunately, we can take a number of steps to address misinformation and make our public discourse and political system more truthful in the 2020 election and beyond. (Gleb Tsipursky, 10/30)