Viewpoints: Free Vaccine For All Is The Only Cure; Time To Reckon With Truths About Public Health
Editorial writers weigh in on these pandemic issues and others.
The New York Times:
Capitalism Is Broken. The Fix Begins With A Free Covid-19 Vaccine.
The only way to end the pandemic is to develop a Covid-19 vaccine and make it available for free to every person in the world. To achieve this, the public sector needs to shape the drug-innovation process: steering innovation, getting fair prices, preserving supplies, ensuring that patents and competition work effectively and using collective intelligence for a positive impact on public health. This is the intent behind the World Health Organization’s call for a patent pool. (Mariana Mazzucato, 10/8)
Los Angeles Times:
Politics And Public Acceptance Of A COVID-19 Vaccine
The key to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic may have less to do with vaccine science and logistics and more to do with public trust. Week after week, actions by Trump administration appointees have raised suspicions that political motives rather than science are driving decision-making in the development of the vaccine. Events like these have shaken my faith — and the faith of many others — in two of the country’s most revered scientific institutions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collects and analyzes healthcare data, and the Food and Drug Administration, which approves diagnostic tests and treatments. (Harvey Klein, 10/8)
The Washington Post:
I Couldn't Sit Idly And Watch People Die From Trump's Chaotic, Politicized Pandemic Response, So I Resigned
Rick Bright, an immunologist and vaccine researcher, is the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Of all the tools required for an effective U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, one that is sorely missing is the truth. Public health guidance on the pandemic response, drafted by career scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been repeatedly overruled by political staff appointed by the Trump administration. Career scientists throughout the Department of Health and Human Services hesitate to push back when science runs counter to the administration’s unrealistically optimistic pronouncements. Public health and safety have been jeopardized by the administration’s hostility to the truth and by its politicization of the pandemic response, undoubtedly leading to tens of thousands of preventable deaths. For that reason, and because the administration has in effect barred me from working to fight the pandemic, I resigned on Tuesday from the National Institutes of Health. (Rick Bright, 10/7)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
When Doctors Allow Trump To Dictate Their Science, Lies Become Infectious
Since the Vietnam era, Donald Trump has used medical professionals to bend the truth and compromise their professional ethics in order to do their patient’s bidding. The openly misleading and evasive information by White House physician Dr. Sean Conley was so egregious on Saturday that even White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows felt it necessary to correct the record. Yet Conley continues to detour around the facts rather than give Americans a straightforward picture of the president’s health. Lying to the American public serves no one’s interests other than Trump’s. Yet Conley’s behavior is par for the course. (10/7)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Coronavirus Cases Rise Fast In Wisconsin As The Legislature Dithers.
Mandate face masks. Close or limit numbers in bars. Limit seats in restaurants. Republicans in other states have taken strong action when faced with rising coronavirus cases. But in Wisconsin, Republicans who control the Legislature instead run to court to overturn an order by Gov. Tony Evers mandating face masks in public spaces. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have offered NO plan of their own to fight the deadly virus. (10/6)
The New York Times:
New York Needs The Faithful To Help Stop The Coronavirus
A growing coronavirus outbreak in several Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods is the most serious public health emergency New York City has faced since the spring, when the virus claimed more than 20,000 lives. Serious outbreaks are now occurring in some of New York’s Hasidic and other ultra-Orthodox communities. Within these insular communities, built by Holocaust survivors from Europe, trust in the city government is often minimal — which can make it a challenge to enforce mask mandates and social distancing rules. (10/7)
Hunger Disproportionately Hits Children Of Color. People Of Faith Must Stand Up.
According to the Children’s Defense Fund, “nearly 1 in 6 children were poor in America in 2018. Seventy-three percent were children of color, and more than 2 in 3 live with at least one working family member. Mothers and fathers are working and still cannot provide adequately for their children.” In my home state of Indiana, over 108,900 children under 18 were uninsured as of 2018. Over 18,400 enrolled in public schools are homeless, and 85 percent of children who received free or reduced lunch in the school year 2017-18 did not participate in summer nutrition programs. (Julius C. Trimble, 10/8)
South Florida Sun Sentinel:
During The Debate, President Trump Said He’s ‘Cutting Drug Prices.’ He’s Not.
Trump proudly spoke of a recently released Executive Order that would peg drug prices for Medicare recipients to a “most-favored nation-price” — or the lowest price that a drug is sold in developed countries. This policy is unlikely to do much, especially not lowering drug prices by the “80 or 90%” he insists. Instead, such an order could actually lead to higher prices in other developed countries. And it would exclude the majority of American patients – over 150 million – not covered by Medicare. (Dr. Reshma Ramachandran, 10/6)
The Harm In Mask Jokes
Influential political commentator and former television host Tomi Lahren recently tweeted a joke about presidential nominee Joe Biden, writing, “Might as well carry a purse with that mask, Joe.” Her reasoning for doing so isn’t hard to unravel. As a conservative publicist, she hopes to make Biden look weak, unmanly and wimpy. Biden frequently spotted wearing a mask in public, has been an advocate for widespread mask usage. (Aaron B. Rochlen, 10/7)