Viewpoints: Lessons On The Complete Failure Of Testing, High Cost Of Treatments
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
Coronavirus Testing Is Broken And There's No Plan To Fix It
Many of the recent stories are familiar, but still distressing and perplexing. There was the gentleman in Tucson who waited 27 days to get results from a Covid-19 test, only to discover he didn’t have the virus and the two weeks he spent in quarantine had been pointless. There was the nonprofit nursing home chain in the Phoenix area that waited five days for test results, only to learn that several staff members and residents had the coronavirus; the asymptomatic staffers had roamed freely until the results arrived. And there have been many tales of Arizona residents waiting a week, on average, to get test results — and sometimes much longer — even though their state has been a coronavirus hotspot for more than a month. Texas, Florida, California and many other newly resurgent corona-states have similar stories. (Timothy L. O'Brien, 7/22)
The Washington Post:
The Pandemic Exit Lane Is Jammed. More Testing Is The Way Out.
The Rockefeller Foundation makes an essential point in a new report about the coronavirus pandemic. “Testing is the only way out of our present disaster,” the research organization says, recommending a $75 billion crash program to ramp up diagnostic testing across the country so that the sick are identified and the healthy can return to work and school. Then there is President Trump. Asked about testing in a Fox News interview broadcast Sunday, he said, “We’re finding — in a way, we’re creating trouble. Certainly, we are creating trouble for the fake news to come along and say, ‘Oh, we have more cases.’ ” (7/21)
Time To Get Serious About COVID-19 Testing
As recently as May, President Donald Trump boasted of how his administration would embark on “the most advanced and robust testing system anywhere in the world, by far.” “My administration” he said, “marshaled every resource at our nation’s disposal: public, private, military, economic, scientific, and industrial — all at your disposal. We launched the largest manufacturing ramp-up since the Second World War. There’s been nothing like it since.” Today, America's ability to test for COVID-19 is well below what is needed. In fact, in some places it is failing miserably. (7/21)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Raid On Remdesivir
As coronavirus cases have spread through the South and West, the good news is the lower death toll than in New York and East Coast states in the spring. One reason is better treatments such as Gilead’s anti-viral drug remdesivir, but powerful progressives now want the government to set prices for and even confiscate the Covid-19 treatment. Six Senate Democrats including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders said in a letter last week to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the Trump Administration “acquired its supply of remdesivir at an exorbitant cost” in a deal that allows Gilead Sciences to reap “windfall revenues” that are paid “by increased premiums for American families.” (7/21)
Covid-19 Antibody Studies Don't Rule Out Immunity Or A Vaccine
It’s hard to imagine more depressing news than some recent studies showing that antibodies to Covid-19 fade within a few weeks — a blow to any hopes for a vaccine, or for any chance of getting out of the pandemic without years of hardship.Don’t let it raise your blood pressure. (Faye Flam, 7/21)
The Washington Post:
As The Pandemic Surges, There Are Three Scenarios Of What Happens Next
At least two Americans will die of covid-19 in the time it takes to read this op-ed. The mortality rate is climbing in 13 states as infections rise in more than 30 states. As the pandemic surges, policymakers are asking how they can stop this explosive spread. I see three scenarios for what happens next: 1. Status quo. Texas, Florida and Arizona are among the states already on the brink of overwhelming their health-care systems. More and more intensive-care units will reach and exceed capacity. Arizona has already implemented “crisis standards of care” to ration its increasingly scarce resources. (Leana S. Wen, 7/21)
COVID-19 Is Quietly Ravaging The LGBTQ Community
A growing body of research is showing that Black people are being hit disproportionately hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lack of LGBTQ-inclusive data designed to capture the experiences of people who are both racial and sexual minorities renders many of us invisible — and puts us at even greater risk of harm. There’s growing reason to worry that the pandemic is also particularly dangerous for diverse members of the LGTBQ and same gender loving (SGL), the affirming term some members of the Black community use to define themselves, particularly if they’re older. (David Johns and Earl Fowlkes Jr., 7/21)
The New York Times:
My Uncle Died Of Covid-19 In America. In China, Would He Have Lived?
Eight is thought to be a lucky number in China because in Chinese it sounds like the word for “fortune”; 444 is a bad number because it rings like “death”; 520 sounds like “I love you.” Having always disliked superstition, I was dismayed to receive a message by WeChat at 4:44 p.m. on May 20, Beijing time, informing me that my uncle Eric, who lived in New York, had died from Covid-19. He was 74. Uncle Eric was a pharmacist, so presumably he contracted the virus from a patient who had visited his shop in Queens. (Yi Rao, 7/22)