Perspectives: Pros, Cons Of Herd Immunity Strategy; Good Genes Or Nonsense Eugenics? – Kaiser Health News

Posted: October 18, 2020 at 11:58 pm

Opinion writers weigh in on these public health topics and others.

The Washington Post:The Great Barrington Declarations Herd Immunity Strategy Wont Work To Stop The CoronavirusPresident Trump has long seemed fascinated with the idea that herd immunity could provide an easy end to the coronavirus pandemic, even before his own diagnosis with covid-19 and his blithe declaration after he checked himself out of the hospital that no one should be afraid of getting it. With time, it goes away, he told an ABC News town hall last month. And youll develop youll develop herd like a herd mentality. Its going to be its going to be herd-developed, and thats going to happen. That will all happen. The neuroradiologist he brought in to advise on the pandemic response over the summer, Scott Atlas, has argued that rising case counts will bring the nation to herd immunity faster. (Marc Lipsitch, Gregg Gonsalves, Carlos del Rio and Rochelle P. Walensky, 10/14)

The Lancet:Scientific Consensus On The COVID-19 Pandemic: We Need To Act Now... The arrival of a second wave and the realisation of the challenges ahead has led to renewed interest in a so-called herd immunity approach, which suggests allowing a large uncontrolled outbreak in the low-risk population while protecting the vulnerable. Proponents suggest this would lead to the development of infection-acquired population immunity in the low-risk population, which will eventually protect the vulnerable. This is a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence. (10/15)

CNN:White House's New Covid-19 Strategy Is MadnessAs if Donald Trump's irresponsibility was not already a national tragedy, the White House seems now to favor a controversial approach to Covid-19 that threatens to bring nothing less than mass suffering.More than 216,000 Americans have already died. Yet on Tuesday, senior Trump administration officials said that they were receptive to pursuing "herd immunity," an approach touted by a group of scientists who have put out what they call the "Great Barrington Declaration." (Jeffrey Sachs, 10/14)

Los Angeles Times:Eugenics Is Making A Comeback. Stop It In Its TracksPoliticians often flatter their audiences, but at a rally in Bemidji, Minn., last month, President Trump found an unusual thing to praise about the nearly all-white crowd: its genetics. You have good genes, he insisted. A lot of it is about the genes, isnt it, dont you believe? The racehorse theory. You have good genes in Minnesota. In case it was not clear from the sea of white faces that he was making a point about race, Trump later said the quiet part out loud. Every family in Minnesota needs to know about Sleepy Joe Bidens extreme plan to flood your state with an influx of refugees from Somalia, from other places all over the planet, he declared. (Adam Cohen, 10/14)

Stat:The 'Buy American' Executive Order: Opportunities And PitfallsPresident Trumps executive order on essential medicines aims to encourage pharmaceutical companies to bring their manufacturing back to the U.S. But it may also have unintended consequences for both domestic and foreign companies. (Joy Strum, 10/15)

The Hill:The Pandemic's Digital Shadow: Increased SurveillanceGovernments responses to todays pandemic are laying a foundation for tomorrows surveillance state... History has shown that powers acquired during an emergency often outlive the original threat. And governments in democracies as well as authoritarian states are now exploiting the health crisis to digitize, collect, and analyze our most intimate data, thus threatening permanent harm to our privacy. (Adrian Shahbaz and Allie Funk, 10/14)

The New York Times:Amy Coney Barrett On The Supreme Court Could Take Us BackwardVoters cant weigh in on the Barrett nomination, but they can correct this countrys course. Heres the fundamental question: Will voters reward the party that is working to provide more health care, or the party that has painstakingly robbed one million children of insurance? Will voters help tug the United States forward, or will they support the backward thinkers who have been on the side of discrimination, racism, bigotry and voter suppression? At the polls, which side of history will you stand on? (Nicholas Kristof, 10/14)

The Hill:Faith, Gender And Abortion Center Stage At Amy Coney Barrett's ConfirmationOn the surface, American politics appears to be full of paradoxes. In 2016, many women and especially white Christian women voted for Donald Trump over the first woman nominated for U.S. president by a major party. Now, in 2020, confirmation hearings are occurring for a woman, nominated by Trump, who opposes a womans right to choose abortion. How might those women who voted for Trump feel about these hearings that reopen questions about womens autonomy over their own bodies? (Landon Schnabel, 10/14)

New England Journal of Medicine:Health Policy In A Biden AdministrationA Biden administration would aim to address todays critical challenges Covid-19, gaps in health insurance coverage, high costs, and inadequate care for the disabled by means of actionable reforms aimed at the most vulnerable Americans. (Sherry Glied, 10/15)

USA Today:Nick Saban's COVID-19 Positive Is Another Red Flag For Struggling SECThe travesty of the 2020 college football season is now on full display. With the SEC schedule collapsing like a house of cards, the biggest name in the sport, 68-year-old Alabama head coach Nick Saban, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in isolation at home, the university announced Wednesday evening. Thankfully, Saban is not experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus, he said in a statement. Alabamas athletic director Greg Byrne, 48, also tested positive, the university said. For now, No. 2 Alabamas game with No. 3 Georgia is still on for this weekend, but the same cant be said for two other SEC contests that are no longer on the schedule.LSUs game at Florida was postponed Wednesday when it was announced that 21 Florida players had tested positive, meaning the school would have fewer than 50 scholarship players available when adding in everyone who came into contact with the infected players and isnow in quarantine. (Christine Brennan, 10/14)

Los Angeles Times:Want To Reopen California? Keep Coronavirus Out Of Poor Areasn Monterey County, 26% of the countys COVID-19 cases are in East Salinas, a largely Latino community of farmworkers, service employees and others living in crowded conditions as they work on the pandemic front lines. Its a very different story in the countys wealthy seaside communities, including Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove. Combined, these locales have a population that slightly exceeds that of East Salinas but they have only about 2% of the countys coronavirus cases. (Angele Glover Blackwell and Manuel Pastor, 10/14)

Boston Globe:The Affordable Care Act And Coverage For Massachusetts Residents Is At RiskDave was laid off from his hotel job in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and he lost his health insurance too. A week later, he was rushed to the emergency room with a lung problem. With support from an enrollment assister, he was able to enroll in MassHealth coverage that was made possible because of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He is just one of the hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents given a lifeline by the ACA. (Elizabeth Warren, Amy Rosenthal, and Kate Walsh, 10/14)

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Perspectives: Pros, Cons Of Herd Immunity Strategy; Good Genes Or Nonsense Eugenics? - Kaiser Health News

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