Viewpoints: Listen To Public Health Experts. Get Used To Mask-Wearing; Lessons From Non-Lockdown States
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic issues and other health topics.
The Washington Post:
Don’t Listen To Trump. Mask-Wearing Is Essential.
AMC Entertainment, the movie theater chain, flip-flopped on the pandemic last week, first saying its customers wouldn’t be required to wear masks, then saying they would. It’s hard to blame the company given the Trump administration’s, and the president’s own, scattered, inconsistent and flat-out wrong messaging. Still, if the United States is going to beat the coronavirus and revive its economy, the private sector — including airlines, restaurants, retail establishments and entertainment companies — needs to step up. AMC’s first move was to say it wouldn’t adopt any mask requirement at its cinemas — even though masks are proven to impede spread of the coronavirus — because it wanted to avoid being “drawn into a political controversy.” Facing a social media backlash, it reversed course the next day, saying it’s “crucial that we listen to our guests.” That was the right outcome, but both statements missed the point: Covid-19 is not a “political controversy,” and combating it is not a matter of customer relations. It’s a public health crisis, and defeating it requires heeding public health experts. That means wearing masks in public; increased testing and tracing; and isolating people who become infected. (6/23)
The Wall Street Journal:
News From The Non-Lockdown States
GOP governors have faced enormous media pressure to lock down their states in solidarity with Democrats, and some now are getting browbeaten to shut down again amid coronavirus flare-ups. So it’s worth pointing out that states that didn’t lock down this spring kept the virus under control and experienced fewer deaths than most that did. (6/23)
Trump Rally Endangers Arizona ... For An Ego Boost?
President Donald Trump swept into Arizona on Tuesday as the state broke yet another record for COVID-19. Nearly 3,600 new cases, 42 more deaths and 84% of the state’s ICU beds occupied as exhausted health-care workers struggle to keep up. Trump supporters began lining up early outside a Phoenix megachurch, with few masks in sight, and once inside they sat shoulder to shoulder, 3,000 strong. Meanwhile, outside, as Trump spoke, hundreds of protesters were driven back by Phoenix police dressed in riot gear. You knew Tuesday’s exercise in indulging a president was inevitable after the highly touted one million people were no-shows at Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa. (In fact, the Tulsa Fire Department estimated the crowd at under 6,200 in the 19,000-seat BOK arena.) (Laurie Roberts, 6/23)
Did Gov. Doug Ducey Just Blame Mexicans For Arizona's COVID-19 Surge?
President Trump and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made Tuesday “Blame it on the Mexicans Day.” Ducey set the stage for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border photo-op by blaming the recent COVID-19 uptick on Mexican residents who come to Arizona to get medical attention. Ducey dropped this bombshell during a conference call with Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of Trump’s coronavirus task force, according to Daily Beast’s exclusive reporting of the meeting. (Elvia Díaz, 6/23)
The Houston Chronicle:
Abbott’s Foolish Denial About Coronavirus Spike Is Leading Texas Into A Disaster
The emperor has no mask. Gov. Greg Abbott may indeed have donned a patriotic-colored face covering at a coronavirus press conference on Monday, but his attempt to cloak Texas’ dangerous spike in cases with a fine drape of reassurances and wishful thinking revealed a simple truth in the governor’s pandemic leadership: there’s no there there. “Texans need to step up and work collaboratively,” the governor said, to “corral” the new coronavirus by following his plan to assure that the state “remains wide-open for business.” (6/23)
Dallas Morning News:
Social Distancing Remains Vital To Our Battle Against COVID-19
There has been much uncertainty surrounding how the coronavirus spreads. Myriad questions have come and gone unanswered or with unclear answers: Can you get the virus from food? How about the mail? What about surfaces? If you are outdoors? If you are six feet apart? Experts are coming to a consensus that they are less concerned about COVID-19 being transmitted through food, surfaces and the outdoors and are more concerned about extended — as short as 15 minutes — and close interactions between people. (6/23)
Los Angeles Times:
You May Be Ready For Bar-Hopping, But I'm Not 'Reopening' Yet
The undergrad who lives in the back room keeps trying to get me to rejoin the world. “Let’s get coffee,” she suggests one day. “Let’s take a drive to Santa Monica,” she suggests the next. At 21, my daughter is long past ready to restart her life. She’s been living at home since March 13, when her mother and I picked her up at LAX. The three of us went into isolation that afternoon, and she has had enough. I have not. I am against reopening. I’m still hunkered down. Not forever, but for now. The pandemic isn’t over, and in fact, the numbers suggest it is getting worse — again. (David L. Ulin, 6/23)
As America Reopens, I Fear I'll Be Isolating For Years
With New York, my home off and on for a half century, opening up on Monday, I've been reflecting on some hard, and very sad, facts of life for me and others in my position. For the past three months, since my return from France on March 13, I have remained carefully cloistered in our cabin in the woods in northeast Pennsylvania. In a long telehealth conversation with my pulmonologist of 30-plus years, I recently arrived at the disturbing conclusion that I may be unable to return to my New York City apartment, or visit my family in Paris, for years. (David A. Andelman, 6/23)
The Paradoxes And Perils Of Reopening During The Coronavirus Pandemic
The gym where I work out in Washington, D.C., is opening this week, but the synagogue where I pray is staying closed through at least September. I pay membership at both. Like most people in America, I am left to figure out the paradoxes and perils of reopening the economy during the coronavirus pandemic and make sense of the new rules or lack thereof for myself. (Tara D. Sonenshine, 6/22)
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus Is Making Exploitation Of NCAA Athletes Obvious
As college sports programs reopen, student-athletes around the country are weighing the risks of COVID-19 as their universities encourage them to return to the field.On Thursday, 30 UCLA football players issued a powerful letter condemning the university for failing to protect their health and safety. They demanded an independent health official to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are followed, whistle-blower protection to report violations, and the right for players to decide whether to attend sports events without fear of retaliation or loss of scholarships. (Azmatullah Hussaini and Jules Lipoff, 6/23)
Cancer Care Barriers Create Racial Disparities In Cancer Survival
Every American is entitled to equitable access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Health care is an essential component of these aims. Cancer care, like other areas of medicine, thwarts a large proportion of Americans from achieving them. (Robert W. Carlson, 6/24)