Perspectives: Lessons On Promoting Public Health In The Years Ahead; Blame Government Leaders For Not Protecting Health Care Workers
Opinion pages focus on these health care issues and others.
Understanding Covid-19, A 'Supernova In Human History'
Covid-19 is a tragic infection that is killing hundreds of thousands of people around the world. But it is also far more than that. It is a supernova in human history: an expanding, all-encompassing set of events and responses to them that touch every aspect of the human condition, simultaneously worsening and improving human health in myriad ways, through immediate and delayed paths. Over the next few decades, economists, epidemiologists, public health experts, historians, philosophers, sociologists, physicians, psychologists, and others will work to untangle the interwoven threads. (Vinay Prasad and Jeffrey S. Flier, 5/14)
Los Angeles Times:
Protect Healthcare Whistleblowers So They Can Protect Us
As with so many stories about healthcare workers in the pandemic, it was wrenching to read about a dedicated local nurse who died of COVID-19 just two weeks after rushing into the room of a patient who had stopped breathing. The nurse, Celia Marcos, had gone ahead and begun chest compressions, which cause virus-laden air to be expelled forcefully, even though she lacked an N95 mask that would have afforded her the best protection. (5/14)
Where’s The Data? Now Is No Time To Sit On Covid-19 Trial Results
When Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, described the results of a remdesivir study a couple of weeks ago, he was cautious in characterizing how the experimental Gilead Sciences drug helped combat Covid-19. Patients given the intravenous medicine recovered faster than those on a placebo by 31%, or four days, Fauci said, conceding the result was not a “knockout.” Nonetheless, he insisted in his trademark keep-it-simple-demeanor, that the data showed “remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect…. This has proven that a drug can block this virus.” (Ed Silverman, 5/13)
My Patients Are Sick And Alone. What The Pandemic Can Teach Us All About Intimacy
Physical proximity, and touch, might be even more powerful. Much has been written about the importance of touch in the healing process, but it’s a difficult phenomenon to study. Stories suggesting a link are everywhere, though. (Clayton Dalton, 5/14)
Gilead Should Ditch Remdesivir And Focus On Its Simpler Ancestor
In the midst of a pandemic like Covid-19, for which there are no FDA-approved drug treatments, hope is important. That’s one reason why remdesivir, an antiviral drug that Gilead Sciences originally made to fight Ebola, has been propelled into the spotlight with the hope that it can stop, or at least curtail, the ravages of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Data from the open-label SIMPLE trial, sponsored by Gilead, and the randomized controlled Adaptive Covid-19 Treatment Trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, show that remdesivir may accelerate recovery rates among patients with advanced Covid-19. The drug’s modest effects are a far cry from the strong antiviral activity it demonstrated in preclinical primate models of coronavirus (both MERS and SARS-CoV-2). (Victoria C. Yan and Florian L. Muller, 5/14)
The New York Times:
America’s True Covid Toll Already Exceeds 100,000
Many supporters of President Trump believe that the figures for coronavirus fatalities are inflated, and Trump himself shared a tweet doubting the accuracy of some virus figures. He’s right that the death toll seems off — but not in the direction he would suggest. We’ve crunched the numbers, state by state, and it appears that somewhere around 100,000 to 110,000 Americans have already died as a result of the pandemic, rather than the 83,000 whose deaths have been attributed to the disease, Covid-19. (Nicholas Kristof, 5/13)