COVID-19

At the current time, COVID vaccines are all the rage. Expectations are not only high; they are too high. ACSH friend (and former trustee) Dr. Paul Offit gives us a much-needed reality check. A vaccine, especially a very effective one, is unlikely to be in the cards anytime soon. Although it is always better to prevent an infection than treat it, antiviral drugs are likely to be a tool to control coronavirus well before a vaccine shows up. Here are some of Offit's thoughts.
The COVID-19 lockdown is responsible for both the loss of economic activity and human lives. Two independent groups of researchers concluded that the lockdown may be costing more lives than it saves.
Royce Chen, M.D., an ophthalmologic surgeon at NY-Presbyterian Hospital, was looking at far more than eyes once the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York. He and other physicians were redeployed to the ICU to help care for the new influx of patients. His article addresses an interesting question - which specialties were hardest hit? And how did physicians in the New York area feel about the PPE provided for them? (Hint: not so good.)
Virtually every day there's news about one or more clinical trials in progress or being planned. But most people don't fully understand what the different trials mean. ACSH advisor Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke gives us a primer that clearly explains the entire process. Timely reading.
American culture, specifically our disdainful attitude toward expertise and leadership, is not conducive to making improvements to public health policy. Don't expect many changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Somewhere along the way, our goal of "flattening the curve" for COVID-19 (an achievable goal) has mutated into "finding a cure" (perhaps an impossible goal). Public health and economic policy must be based on reality, not starry-eyed wishmaking. Otherwise, people's lives and livelihoods are in grave danger.
As we turn to social mingling once again, those of us blessed with 20-20 hindsight glasses are increasingly angry at the models used by policymakers in locking us down. It is time to speak of the misuse of tools and regret.
Is sticking your finger down your throat a pleasant experience? How about sticking it down there and leaving it for three weeks? You probably wouldn't want to be awake for that, but a shortage of IV hospital drugs is causing some real problems for intubated patients on ventilators. And guess what drug they're out of? Fentanyl(!). And if you read on you'll get that, plus a bubble bath with Kim Jong-un, all in one idiotic article.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, ACSH advisor and infectious disease epidemiologist, has co-authored a report on the coronavirus, drawing upon lessons learned from previous influenza pandemics. He and his co-authors predict one of three scenarios for how the COVID-19 pandemic will play out.
In order for restaurants in Washington State to reopen for dining in, they will be required to keep a log of customer names and contact information in case contact tracing is necessary. This is smart, not only to fight the coronavirus but foodborne infectious disease outbreaks as well.
Drugs that don't work when taken orally are the bane of drug discovery chemists. Now it's the bane of the world. But there are techniques that can convert orally inactive drugs, like remdesivir, into pills. Here's how they work.
If the spread of COVID-19 is unstoppable, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Johan Giesecke says that we must shift our public health strategy away from a futile attempt to prevent its spread and toward providing optimal care for the sickest patients.