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.
Americans have developed a social pathology in which we pin our collective hope and hatred on a single person, the President of the United States. This began long before Donald Trump took office, but the coronavirus pandemic has greatly worsened the problem.
How would we respond differently if another outbreak happened?
Many politicians insist that they will "follow the science" in regard to reopening the economy. But the COVID-19 pandemic has placed us in uncharted territory with few relevant precedents to guide policymaking. Therefore, "Follow the science," is indistinguishable from, "Do what I say." This doesn't prevent activist websites like Undark from smearing reputable scientists who speak out in disagreement.
Should we open up the economy immediately or remain on lockdown indefinitely until a vaccine is made? Believe it or not, there are other options. It's too bad that society isn't smart enough to understand that.
A recent poll shows that 78% of Americans support stay-at-home orders. As the economy comes crashing down to levels not seen since the Great Depression, our social fabric will begin to rip, and the public will change its mind.
The coronavirus pandemic has devolved into just another partisan battle. In the process, it has revealed how poorly served Americans are by their leaders and the media.
The World Health Organization does a tremendous job advancing the cause of global public health. But two recent, major screw-ups show that the institution is far from perfect. In one instance, a group of UK scientists accused the WHO of spreading "blatant misinformation."
Completely banning alcohol would only prevent about 3.5% of cancer deaths. That, of course, means the other 96.5% of fatal cancers are caused by things other than alcohol. Given that cancer is the #2 leading cause of death in America, there's a good chance that you're going to die of cancer no matter what you do. So chill out and have a drink.
In a press release, the American Heart Association sensationalized research presented at its meeting, then included a disclaimer that the research may not be accurate. And the association doesn't necessarily endorse it. And then the Surgeon General posted it on Twitter.
A long campaign season might make American politicians uniquely incentivized not to solve problems. It's easier to raise money and scare up enough votes to get elected by promising change, rather than actually delivering it. This harms public health.
In the wake of over 1,000 injuries and dozens of deaths due to vaping, the public is right to be concerned about the safety of e-cigarettes. Given that we have covered this issue in some depth, we wanted to provide a resource that answers as many questions as possible and provides links to our other articles.