Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Call For U.S. To Ease Iran Sanctions

New York Times: This Coronavirus Crisis Is the Time to Ease Sanctions on Iran
Editorial Board

“Iran is in terrible shape. It is among the countries worst hit by the coronavirus … Sanctions have choked its economy. … Does that mean the United States should tighten sanctions further in the hope that the ‘maximum pressure’ strategy will compel Tehran to toe Washington’s line? Or should it loosen sanctions to help Iranians and show them that America’s argument is not with the people? The choice seems obvious. Demonstrating compassion in times of crisis is good foreign policy, and in this case it may actually help achieve the goals the Trump administration is pursuing. … Suspending sanctions, clearing the [International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for emergency funding], and offering help, real help, may not make the Iranian government less dangerous. But it’s what America should be doing as a great nation, and unlike the alternative, it does hold out the possibility of making Iran less dangerous” (3/25).

Washington Post: America should help contain Iran’s spiking coronavirus epidemic
Editorial Board

“Iran, like the United States, is fighting a so-far failing war against the novel coronavirus, which according to expert studies could kill millions in both countries if it is not contained. Yet neither the Trump administration nor the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has let this unprecedented emergency distract them from their war against each other. … At a time of an extraordinary humanitarian crisis, the Trump administration is stepping up ‘maximum pressure’ measures that increase hardship for a nation of 80 million. To what end? Neither the collapse nor the capitulation of the regime seems a likely result. Instead, the United States is being blamed by ordinary Iranians as well as other nations for making it more difficult for authorities to combat the epidemic. … [I]nstead of escalating sanctions, [President Trump] ought to be offering Iran the chance to ease tensions through mutual humanitarian actions. … [T]he administration should support Iran’s request to the International Monetary Fund for emergency aid. The confrontation Mr. Trump initiated with Iran has manifestly failed to achieve its aims. The coronavirus epidemic offers him the opportunity to correct course while helping to contain one dangerous focal point of the pandemic” (3/25).

Washington Post: Will our democracy still work with coronavirus?
Editorial Board

“…At a time of partisan polarization and a looming presidential election, can our elected representatives in Washington rise above politics and serve the public interest? The admittedly provisional, answer, late Wednesday, was ‘yes’ as the Senate struggled to overcome the last few objections to a $2 trillion emergency measure to salvage the U.S. economy and support health care. … Undoubtedly the bill is not ideal, and likely even less perfect, in its details, than we can yet know. Yet what is at stake is not — repeat, not — a bailout or a subsidy or even a stimulus. It is economic life support, an attempt to sustain consumers and producers, from the most modest household to the biggest business, through unprecedented global stress for which they are all basically blameless. There is, to be sure, extra responsibility on large corporations for whom the bill is providing a kind of nationalized catastrophic business insurance. They should respond by augmenting those voluntary measures to help employees and the public that many companies have already taken. If shut-down car factories can be retooled to make ventilators, they must be; if, say, cargo holds of idled passenger airliners are needed to ship vital supplies, use them. Against all the odds and many expectations, Congress may be doing its job. All the more reason for other institutions, public and private, to keep on doing theirs” (3/25).

Washington Post: Trump is spreading false hope for a virus cure — and that’s not the only damage
Editorial Board

“…Widespread testing for drug safety and efficacy is essential. … While hydroxychloroquine has already been approved for malaria, it has not been tested in this way for the coronavirus. … The most promising answer to the pandemic will be a vaccine, and researchers are racing to develop one. Mr. Trump’s inappropriate hype [around using hydroxychloroquine to treat novel coronavirus] has already led to hoarding of hydroxychloroquine and diverted supplies from people with other maladies who need it. His comments are raising false hopes. Rather than roll the dice on an unproven therapy, let’s deposit our trust in the scientists” (3/25).

The Atlantic: Why America Is Uniquely Unsuited to Dealing With the Coronavirus
Uri Friedman, staff writer at the Atlantic (3/25).

Bloomberg: Coronavirus Feeds on Latin America’s Political Gap
Mac Margolis, Bloomberg opinion columnist (3/25).

Devex: Opinion: Spend what it takes to fight COVID-19 in poor countries, too
Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development (3/25).

Financial Times: If Covid-19 is not beaten in Africa it will return to haunt us all
Abiy Ahmed, prime minister of Ethiopia and 2019 Nobel Peace prize laureate (3/25).

Financial Times: How health workers replaced soldiers as our heroes
Simon Kuper, life and arts columnist at the Financial Times (3/26).

Foreign Affairs: How to Lead in a Time of Pandemic
Nicholas Burns, professor of diplomacy and international relations at the Harvard Kennedy School (3/25).

Foreign Affairs: Coronavirus Threatens Catastrophe in India
Vidya Krishnan, writer and journalist (3/25).

Foreign Policy: Yes, Blame China for the Virus
Paul D. Miller, professor of the practice of international affairs at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council (3/25).

The Guardian: Mass testing is the only way to stop the virus — it’s long overdue
Anthony Costello, professor of global health and sustainable development at UCL (3/25).

The Hill: Congress is not immune to this crisis
William Timmons (R-S.C.), member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (3/25).

Newsweek: We Predicted The Coronavirus Pandemic But Nobody Would Listen
Jeremy Farrar, clinician and researcher specializing in infectious diseases, scientific and public health adviser to the WHO and to the U.K. and German governments, and director of Wellcome (3/24).

New York Times: Boris Johnson Is Not Cut Out for This Crisis
Jenni Russell, columnist for the Times of London and contributing opinion writer at the New York Times (3/26).

Project Syndicate: The Race Between Economics and COVID-19
Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, president elect of Queens’ College (Cambridge University), senior adviser at Gramercy, and part-time practice professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (3/26).

Project Syndicate: A Coordinated Response to COVID-19
Lee Jong-Wha, professor of economics and director of the Asiatic Research Institute at Korea University (3/25).

Project Syndicate: Leadership in a Time of Contagion
Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations (3/25).

Scientific American: How Do We Prevent the Next Outbreak?
Nicholas A. Robinson, executive governor of the International Council of Environmental Law and founder of the environmental law programs at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, and Christian Walzer, executive director of health in the Global Conservation Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society (3/25).

Washington Post: What did Trump and Congress know about the coronavirus, and when did they know it?
George T. Conway III, lawyer and adviser to the Lincoln Project, and Carrie Cordero, Robert M. Gates senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, both co-founders of Checks & Balances (3/25).

Washington Post: The U.S. should be leading the world on the virus. Instead, it’s missing in action.
Frida Ghitis, contributing columnist at the Washington Post (3/25).

Washington Post: As we fight the pandemic, it’s clear the world wasn’t ready. Here’s how to fix that.
Arancha González Laya, Spain’s minister of foreign affairs (3/25).

Washington Post: Trump must ease sanctions against Iran or face a humanitarian catastrophe
Philip H. Gordon, Mary and David Boies senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Ariane M. Tabatabai, adjunct senior research scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University (3/25).

Washington Post: We must plan now for how to get back to business later
Ronald A. Klain, adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and head of the Obama administration’s Ebola response (3/25).

Washington Post: It’s imperative for the U.S. and China to work together on the coronavirus pandemic
Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Hoover fellow at Stanford University, and author (3/26).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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