Viewpoints: Shelter-In-Place Policies Have Done More Harm Than Good; The Virus Is Waiting, Counting On A Second Wave
Opinion writers weigh in on these pandemic topics and others.
The Wall Street Journal:
The Data Are In: It’s Time For Major Reopening
Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, an influential economic analysis from the University of Chicago concluded that the likely benefits of moderate social distancing would greatly exceed the resultant costs. The New York Times and the Washington Post recently cited that study as evidence that the use of strict lockdowns to control the virus’s spread has been justified, and that current efforts to “open up” social and economic activity around the U.S. are dangerous and irresponsible. That is seriously misleading; the Chicago study is already out of date. More recent research supports the idea that the lockdowns should end. (David R. Henderson and Jonathan Lipow, 6/15)
The New York Times:
Doctors Know The Second Coronavirus Wave Is Coming
Rushing into the hospital for an overnight shift, I grab my brown paper bag of personal protective equipment, swing open the door to the coronavirus intensive care unit — and stop short. The patients are gone. The halls that were cluttered just a day ago with ventilator monitors are now empty, silent. It has been nearly three months since we reconfigured our hospital to care for the Covid-19 surge. And as our numbers fall, from more than 100 critically ill patients to fewer than 20, most of our coronavirus units are closing. This is good news. But there is no celebration. How can there be? Nearly 1,000 Americans continue to die every day from this virus, while others dance in crowded clubs and refuse to wear masks in public places. (Daniela J. Lamas, 6/16)
How COVID-19 Can Help Fight Health Inequity
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a harsh light on the inequities that plague healthcare in the U.S. Many people were stunned to realize that the mortality rate from COVID-19 has been far higher for black and brown Americans than for their white counterparts—more than double, according to recent data. Researchers and policymakers understand that people of color and poor people of all races are dying in this country because medical care can't make up for things like substandard housing, food insecurity and jobs that cannot be done remotely. (Ram Raju, 6/15)
The New York Times:
Are Nations Safer From The Coronavirus When Women Lead?
Are female leaders better at fighting a pandemic? I compiled death rates from the coronavirus for 21 countries around the world, 13 led by men and eight by women. The male-led countries suffered an average of 214 coronavirus-related deaths per million inhabitants. Those led by women lost only one-fifth as many, 36 per million. If the United States had the coronavirus death rate of the average female-led country, 102,000 American lives would have been saved out of the 114,000 lost.“ Countries led by women do seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus,” noted Anne W. Rimoin, an epidemiologist at U.C.L.A. “New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway have done so well perhaps due to the leadership and management styles attributed to their female leaders.” (Nicholas Kristof, 6/13)
By Phone, Cancer Patients Reveal Their Covid-19 Angst
Clinical trials have always represented hope for people with cancer. Whether someone is newly diagnosed or has exhausted most treatment options, trials can provide a crucial, alternate treatment. Covid-19 has upended that lifeline, along with almost every other aspect of cancer care. (Alissa Gentile and Meredith Barnhart, 6/16)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
The Supreme Court Takes A Stand For LGBTQ Rights, As Trump Undermines Them.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a major victory to the cause of LGBTQ rights, even as the Trump administration moves to undermine those rights. The court ruled that existing federal law prohibits job discrimination based on sexual orientation — a historic decision, made more so by the fact that it was approved 6-3 by a conservative court. It should reverberate in Missouri, where legislators have refused for years to offer the same anti-discrimination protections for sexual orientation that are codified on issues like race, gender and disability. This important progress from the high court comes as the White House is trying to drag the nation in exactly the wrong direction on this issue. The administration last week formally reversed a rule that protected LGBTQ patients from discrimination in health care. The move has nothing to do with improving care and everything to do with pandering to the evangelicals in President Donald Trump’s base. (6/15)
Covid-19 And Remdesivir: Rethinking How We Measure Drug "Value"
As pharmaceutical and biotech companies scramble to identify treatments for Covid-19, a new disease that initially had none, we must begin to figure out what is an appropriate pricing approach — and price — for emerging therapies. Remdesivir, Gilead Sciences’ repurposed antiviral drug, offers the first opportunity to do this. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has conducted the first value assessment of remdesivir, a drug with early evidence of treatment effectiveness. Its analysis, however, is premature and highlights many of the flaws inherent in today’s value assessment models. (Patricia Deverka, Louis Garrison and Samuel Nussbaum, 6/15)
Congress: Don't Let Safe Elections Fall Victim To COVID-19
In Rochester Hills, Mich., where I’m mayor, I’ve seen incredible feats of resilience and strength as we have fought to minimize the spread of COVID-19. I am made proud every day by what the people here have done to prevent infection and provide support to those requiring care. At this point in the pandemic, I know what Rochester Hills requires to stay on the rebound. But, like so many communities across the country, we’re facing a dual challenge: significant declines in revenue combined with unforeseen expenses. (Bryan K. Barnett, 6/15)
Dallas Morning News:
COVID-19 Isn’t Over Yet, And Dallas Must Continue Wearing Masks And Social Distancing
Everyone is ready for the COVID-19 pandemic to end so we can resume our lives and save the economy, but more Dallasites continue to test positive for the stubborn virus every day. Infections have just begun surging again after widespread indiscretions over the Memorial Day weekend. So how are we going to stop it? This virus is highly contagious. (Robert Haley and Debbie Branson, 6/13)
Florida Needs An Executive Order Requiring Wearing Of Face Masks
Tired of being cooped up at home with our own cooking, my family and I mustered up the courage to head out to our favorite hamburger joint. It was our first trip to a dine-in restaurant since the COVID-19 crisis occurred, and we planned to eat in the restaurant’s outdoors seating area. As we walked through the restaurant door past the sign that read, "No shoes, no shirt, no service," we were surprised to see a large number of customers, servers and cashiers not wearing face masks. Would it have been too much — at a time when more than 100,000 of our neighbors and fellow Americans have already perished from COVID disease, with no end in sight — to add “no mask” to the sign? In the end, we left the restaurant without waiting around to order food. Too risky! (Ron Saff, 6/15)