Viewpoints: Scale Up Production Of Safer Masks, Provide Them To Every Household
Stat authors insist the country can't wait for the rollout of vaccinations and call for policy that produces and provides effective masks for every American. Opinion pages express views on other pandemic topics and one questions the mental fitness of President Donald Trump.
Along With Vaccines, The U.S. Needs A National Hi-Fi Mask Initiative
Though the first Covid-19 vaccines are now being given to health care workers, other frontline workers, and the elderly in the United States, it will likely be months before enough Americans are vaccinated to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. And with a more-infectious variant, called B.1.1.7, spreading globally — for which vaccine effectiveness is still unknown — more must be done to prevent as many infections and save as many lives as possible. (Abraar Karan, Ranu Dhillon and Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, 1/7)
The Washington Post:
It’s Not Enough For Health-Care Workers To Warn People About Vaccine Symptoms
On the day of my first vaccination against the novel coronavirus, my phone was alive with celebration. Confetti exploded and champagne corks popped as my health-care colleagues shared photos of themselves being vaccinated. The next day, I compared notes with a group of fellow pediatricians. Most felt nothing, many had sore arms, several were fatigued or had muscle aches, one had a fever. All short-lived. All in keeping, we knew, with clinical trials. We continued to bask in relief. My own headache was a throbbing sort of ache, at the base of the back of my skull. It wasn’t severe as headaches go, but it was hard not to feel a creeping sense of dread. When I was ill with covid-19 just four weeks earlier (yes, you still should be vaccinated if you’ve previously tested positive for the virus), it had started with a similar headache. (Dorothy R. Novick, 1/6)
The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe. Here’s Why.
For many Houstonians, daydreams of a return to normal life are tempered by an uneasiness about how quickly the COVID-19 vaccines were developed. Most vaccines take years to develop — one of the fastest was the mumps vaccine, which took four years. What’s different about the COVID-19 vaccine, and how was it developed so quickly? Was it rushed? Is it safe? What are the side effects?Because of unprecedented international collaboration that built upon existing vaccine science, massive funding and resources directed at vaccine development, and high numbers of people willing to participate in clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved by the FDA were able to overcome the barriers that usually slow down vaccine development. Truthfully, these vaccines aren’t completely new. (Farah Kudrath and Janak Patel, 1/7)
Want To Defeat COVID-19? Empower Your Diplomats
The first case of Ebola struck Lagos, Nigeria in July of 2014. A serious outbreak of this highly lethal infectious hemorrhagic fever in a megalopolis connected to points around the globe would have been catastrophic. American diplomats in Nigeria had a mission: convince local authorities of the gravity of the situation and give them the tools to shut the disease down. (Jeff Hawkins and Mark C. Storella, 1/6)
Diagnosing Trump With A Mental Illness
Health professionals are not usually allowed to comment on a person’s mental health unless they have personally assessed the individual and have conducted a full examination. Psychiatrists are limited by the Goldwater Rule. What is the Goldwater Rule? The Goldwater Rule refers to Rule 7.3 code of ethics, which forbids psychiatrists from professionally commenting on the mental health of individuals they have not personally assessed (and even then, they are bound by the privacy and confidentiality rules). (Arash Emamzadeh, 1/5)
Los Angeles Times:
Trump's New EPA Rule Is Yet Another Attack On Science
The Trump administration is handing out another parting gift to polluters as it nears the exit door — and it is going to exit — by finalizing a long-gestating rule that would limit the scope of scientific studies the Environmental Protection Agency can use in forming regulations. Yeah, I know, sounds tedious, but the rule could have a profound effect by, among other things, barring the EPA from using anonymized health impact studies to decide whether a compound or emission ought to be regulated. Such studies have been relied upon for years in measuring the potential effects of pollutants. Think mercury and particulate matter from smokestacks. Think water quality. Think any intersection of regulatory decisions and studies in which people participate under the promise of privacy. (Scott Martelle, 1/5)
Doctors On Social Media Are Being Harassed And Cyberbullied
As women in medicine who use social media to advocate for public health and social justice, we know firsthand what it’s like to be personally attacked and sexually harassed online. These attacks have taken many forms. Some are more of a nuisance, like online trolling after advocating for mask wearing during the pandemic. Others are downright egregious and scary, such as an anonymous call to our hospital leadership “reporting” online advocacy efforts, or having our personal information published online, also known as doxxing. (Vineet Arora, Tricia Pendergrast and Shikha Jain, 1/5)
Oregon’s Lack Of Urgency In A Devastating Pandemic
The halting rollout of COVID-19 vaccines isn’t just an Oregon story. Across the country, states have struggled to administer the doses they’ve received from drug manufacturers, thanks in part to a lack of federal help or resources. The slow rollout reflects once again the costs this country bears due to weak national leadership in addressing a once-in-a-century pandemic. But don’t let Oregon’s leaders off the hook for their roles in fumbling the vaccine rollout. (1/6)
What Will US House Rules On Gender-Neutral Language Change?
A code of conduct change in the U.S. House of Representatives swaps gendered language for gender-inclusive terms in its official language. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, and Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, outlined the proposal Friday. It’s included in a package of “sweeping” rule changes that, among other things, promote diversity and inclusion in the 117th Congress. The House approved the package Monday in a 217-206 vote on party lines, The Hill reports. (Bailey Aldridge, 1/4)