Viewpoints: Pros, Cons Of Emergency FDA Approvals; Why Tell People To Defy Public Health Cautions?
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic topics and other public health issues.
The Wall Street Journal:
Trump, Biden And Covid Vaccines
The Trump FDA’s Covid innovation has been providing real-time feedback and clear guidance to drug and vaccine makers about its expectations. This has helped therapies and vaccines advance and cut Phase 3 trials from three years to a few months. These reforms are one of the success stories of the federal Covid response. But there’s a serious risk that the Biden team will default to their instincts and reimpose a culture of bureaucratic control that restricts new medical advances. (11/16)
The New York Times:
Does Remdesivir Actually Work Against Covid-19?
When the Food and Drug Administration approves a new treatment or vaccine, as doctors we are assured that rigorous studies have proven it to be safe and effective. But the F.D.A.’s haphazard issuance of emergency use authorizations for Covid-19 treatments like hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma, whose potential benefits have not yet been backed up by data, has undermined this trust. Early in the pandemic, the agency awarded an emergency use authorization for the antiviral drug remdesivir, based on evidence suggesting that it may be effective. Then last month, despite conflicting evidence, the F.D.A. prematurely granted its first full approval for Covid-19 treatment to remdesivir, now marketed as Veklury. (Ravi Gupta and Reshma Ramachandran, 11/17)
The Washington Post:
Scott Atlas's Michigan Lockdown Comments Will Sicken People. Fire Him.
Scott Atlas is a neuroradiologist, not an infectious disease expert, nor an epidemiologist. As President Trump’s leading adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, he continues to make statements that will cause more illness and death. He ought to be fired immediately. ...Dr. Atlas has frequently belittled lockdowns and pandemic restrictions, saying they have deleterious knock-on effects and are unnecessary, and that only the “vulnerable” need protection. Of the Michigan restrictions, he wrote on Twitter: “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp.” So, while the governor was desperately trying to save lives by slowing the virus transmission, Dr. Atlas was urging people to disobey and revolt. (11/16)
As COVID-19 Surge Chases America Indoors, Pass Another Relief Now
Like it or not, states are going to impose more shutdowns and social distancing orders as COVID-19 numbers rise and as people move indoors. Also, like it or not, Dec. 31 looms as the witching hour when a number of benefits provided in the CARES Act, the coronavirus relief measure passed in March, expire. Among the lapsing provisions are protections against homeowner and renter evictions, increases in the dollar amount and duration of unemployment benefits, and provisions that make these benefits more available to freelancers, small businesses, gig workers and others who would not normally qualify. (11/16)
More Coronavirus Aid Would Push America Deeper Into Debt
The economic plunge this year was dramatic, and so was the legislative response that pushed up federal debt by $2.6 trillion over a decade. That is enough federal aid. Every dollar of borrowing is a cost imposed on future taxpayers .By next year, federal debt held by the public will hit $22 trillion and match the record high in World War II as a share of gross domestic product. (Chris Edwards, 11/16)
How Biden Can Fight Covid-19 On A Global Scale
If there's anything we've learned this year, it's that infectious diseases transcend borders. Covid-19 spread at an astounding speed, and the death of more than 1.3 million people around the world underscores the need for greater international collaboration and information-sharing to prevent and control future viral outbreaks. (Michael J. Dowling, 11/16)
Los Angeles Times:
COVID-19 Curfews? Better Than Returning To Lockdown
Are curfews coming to California? They could be as state and local leaders look for ways to slow the precipitously rising number of coronavirus infections and avoid the death that inevitably follows. If curfews can help avoid a return to the sweeping lockdowns of last spring, Californians should welcome them. (11/17)
Decriminalization Could Help Ease The Nation’s Drug Epidemic
Among the 120 statewide ballot measures before voters in the 2020 election, drug decriminalization measures passed in six states. In Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, voters approved legalizing marijuana use for adults, while Mississippi voters approved the use of medical marijuana. But Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. (Kevin Doyle, 11/17)
We Must Decriminalize Mental Illness To Save Lives
At a time when insurmountable divisions rive our nation, there are still opportunities to find common ground. One example is the need to reduce our over-reliance on law enforcement to provide desperately needed mental health care. (Patrick Kennedy and John Snook, 11/16)