What happens to the global economy if the medicine ends up harming those it is meant to cure?
Four stories: Phylogenetic analysis suggests that coronavirus arrived in the U.S. between late January and early February. The coronavirus has resulted in more than 1.2 million years of life lost (YLLs) in the U.S. The coronavirus isn't the only game in town. And some people who are most likely to be affected by coronavirus are also refusing to go to the hospital.
It is difficult to overstate the potential damage that an ineffective or unsafe coronavirus vaccine could inflict on confidence in public health institutions. Conspiracy theories already abound and would multiply further.
The University of Oxford, in collaboration with British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, has produced a leading coronavirus vaccine candidate. However, the Phase 3 clinical trial was paused because one patient is thought to have developed a serious adverse reaction. What could it be?
Are vaccines going to be adequately tested for safety and efficacy if Phase 3 clinical trials are not completed? Does convalescent plasma work to treat COVID? Is the COVID death toll inflated? We attempt to clarify these controversies.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn indicated that his agency would be willing to grant emergency authorization to a coronavirus vaccine, even before it completes Phase 3 clinical trials. This is a reckless gamble and could cause an unmitigated public health disaster.
There are some striking differences between how Europeans and Americans are navigating the pandemic. The latter have a lot to learn from the former.
As I watch the current debacle of our children preparing to return to school, I more and more feel it is time to take a moment to talk about the errors we have made. My original thoughts turned to responsibility and accountability, words that have occupied my professional life as a surgeon, words molding my thinking just as they molded my character.
Another clinical trial of remdesivir – this time with hospitalized patients having moderate COVID-19 – yielded disappointing and strange results. The first randomized trial showed a modest benefit in patients with severe COVID, so theoretically the drug should have worked better in patients who weren't as sick. But, it didn't.
Health literacy, or understanding the medical narrative, is a problem for a majority of Americans. When compounded with numeric literacy, understanding numbers, ratios and rates -- the daily litany that has accompanied COVID-19 news conferences -- it's estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans just don’t get it. 
There are crazier ideas than harsh, indefinite lockdowns to fight the coronavirus. One was proposed by a bioethics professor: Put mind-controlling hormones in the water supply to make people more cooperative.
Large pharmaceutical companies are multinational organizations with incentives to distribute their vaccines broadly.