Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Financial Times: India’s virus battle shows struggle of global south
Editorial Board

“…[India’s] struggle to contain the outbreak is emblematic of special challenges facing much of the developing world. Its response will carry lessons for others. … Many problems India will face in preventing the spread of the pandemic are shared by countries from Indonesia to Brazil to Nigeria. Procedures taken for granted in western countries are extremely difficult to apply. Hand washing relies upon access to running water which is lacking in much of India and large parts of Africa. Where available, water is often in limited supply. Soap is a luxury for millions who struggle to put food on the plate. Social distancing is also unlikely to be feasible. … India and other developing countries will have to tailor measures to realities. … Western countries’ experiences with Covid-19 are already harrowing, with medical systems stretched beyond breaking point. Yet Italy, Europe’s worst affected country, has just over four doctors per 1,000 people. India has less than one. The average for sub-Saharan Africa is even lower. Without the very best health responses, and outside help, the impact of the pandemic on the emerging world could prove immeasurably worse” (3/25).

New York Times: Coronavirus Is Advancing. All Americans Need to Shelter in Place.
Editorial Board

“President Trump needs to call for a two-week shelter-in-place order, now, as part of a coherent national strategy for the coronavirus to protect Americans and their livelihoods. … [T]he United States has passed the point where aggressive, targeted efforts at tracking and containment, like those pursued by South Korea, have a realistic chance of success. … We are not suggesting that Mr. Trump has the authority to order a national lockdown, much less advocating that he attempt to enforce one. Instead, we are urging him to use the bully pulpit to put pressure on, and provide political cover for, governors to take the hard steps that are needed. … [T]hough it has already wasted time and opportunities to contain the coronavirus, the United States still has a chance to apply hard lessons learned by China, Italy, and other nations. A nationwide lockdown is the only tactic left to parry a viral adversary that is constantly on the move, and to buy the time for medical workers to prepare for what comes next” (3/24).

Washington Post: Trump’s goal of sending people back to work early is reckless
Editorial Board

“…Going back to work too soon is reckless. More time is needed to break chains of transmission. But at some point, return is inevitable. Until a vaccine or drug therapy is found, tested, and manufactured, getting back to normal will become a complex social, medical, economic, and political problem. The planning should start now, while there is time. A vast increase in testing is mandatory. Hospital-bed capacity will be a major bottleneck and must be alleviated. We will need more ventilators and protective masks. Today’s immediate crisis naturally is occupying the attention of the White House’s coronavirus task force. Mr. Trump should appoint one experienced person with overall authority to plan for and manage the next phase, which will take us into 2021 at the very least. That next phase cannot possibly begin in just more than two weeks, as Mr. Trump wishfully maintains. But even if we hunker down for longer, as China did, this stealthy virus could come roaring back if we do not make adequate preparations, beginning right now” (3/24).

Washington Post: Location data could help fight covid-19 — but privacy must be protected
Editorial Board

“…Last week, there were reports of talks among the White House, tech companies, and health experts about how to use location data to combat the coronavirus in the United States. … Participants in those preliminary talks stressed that they were investigating uses of aggregated anonymized data — they would remove information that could be associated with particular individuals and look at bigger-picture population movements. … Even so, any plan to use Americans’ location data in any manner should be accompanied by basic privacy assurances, including that private companies not use the data for non-coronavirus purposes, that the data never be shared with law enforcement or immigration agencies, and that the data be destroyed after the pandemic. … Even anonymized data could be valuable in this crisis; seeing people’s movements could help health officials determine whether they are adhering to social distancing orders. But, while there’s been no public discussion yet of plans to use more powerful forms of surveillance to combat the coronavirus, as the crisis worsens — and especially ahead of a possible second wave — enhanced surveillance tools might be appropriate. Public health experts note that location data, along with an aggressive testing regimen, could be extremely useful in identifying and isolating exposed individuals. All the more reason to get right from the start the balance of privacy and public health…” (3/24).

Washington Post: The coronavirus threatens all of humanity. All of humanity must fight back.
Mark Lowcock, United Nations’ under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization

“To stop the covid-19 pandemic, nations must look beyond their own borders. … On Wednesday, the United Nations system is launching a humanitarian campaign to fight the virus in the world’s most vulnerable countries. The coronavirus knows no borders, and we are only as strong as the weakest health system. Countries now battling the pandemic at home are rightly prioritizing those living within their borders. But the hard truth is that they will fail to protect their own people if they do not act to help the poorest countries protect themselves against covid-19. … We ask governments worldwide to do two things. First, strongly support this global humanitarian response plan. It will work only if it is properly funded. Second, sustain funding to existing humanitarian and refugee response plans. Diverting funding from them to fight the coronavirus would create an environment where cholera, measles, and meningitis can thrive, where even more children become malnourished and where extremists can take control. It would extend the breeding ground for the coronavirus. … [T]he pandemic’s course will be determined by the actions taken by countries, communities, and individuals. … Covid-19 is threatening the whole of humanity. The whole of humanity must fight back” (3/24).

The Conversation: TB, HIV and COVID-19: urgent questions as three epidemics collide
Emily Wong, faculty member at the Africa Health Research Institute at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (3/24).

Devex: Opinion: The anti-virus to global epidemics? Strengthen the health systems
Alice Bayingana and Miriam Frisch, both research associates to Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity (3/25).

Fast Company: What will happen when the coronavirus hits parts of Africa already struggling with hunger?
Hajir Maalim, regional director for the Horn and Eastern Africa at Action Against Hunger (3/24).

Financial Times: This pandemic is an ethical challenge
Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times (3/24).

Foreign Affairs: The U.S. and China Could Cooperate to Defeat the Pandemic
Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and director of CFR’s Global Health Governance Roundtable (3/24).

Foreign Policy: The Untold Story of How Iran Botched the Coronavirus Pandemic
Maysam Behravesh, PhD candidate in political science at Lund University and political analyst at Gulf State Analytics (3/24).

IPS: Stronger U.N. Leadership Needed to Cope with Coronavirus Threat
Anis Chowdhury, journalist at IPS, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former economics professor and United Nations assistant secretary general for economic development (3/24).

New York Times: Whenever I Throw Away a Mask, I Think of Venezuela and I Freak Out
Astrid Cantor, Venezuelan medical surgeon (3/24).

New York Times: We Need a Unified Military Command for Disaster Response
David Helvarg, executive director of Blue Frontier and author (3/23).

Project Syndicate: The Virus Turns South
Roberto Chang, distinguished professor of economics at Rutgers University, and Andrés Velasco, dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and author (3/24).

Project Syndicate: Can Africa Withstand COVID-19?
Denis Chopera, medical virologist and program executive manager for the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE) at the Africa Health Research Institute, Aspen New Voices fellow, and African Century fellow (3/24).

Project Syndicate: The G20’s Pandemic Moment
Jim O’Neill, chair of Chatham House (3/24).

Project Syndicate: A Pandemic Is No Time for U.S. Economic Sanctions
Jeffrey D. Sachs, professor of sustainable development and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, and director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Francisco Rodríguez, economist and director of the Oil for Venezuela Foundation (3/25).

Project Syndicate: The Arab World’s Perfect COVID-19 Storm
Nasser Saidi, former chief economist of the Dubai International Financial Center, former vice governor of the Bank of Lebanon, and former minister of the Economy and Industry in Lebanon (3/24).

Scientific American: Trust Is The Key to Fighting the Pandemic
Bo Rothstein, August Röhss chair in political science at the University of Gothenburg (3/24).

Scientific American: One Root Cause of Pandemics Few People Think About
Paul Shapiro, CEO of The Better Meat Co. and author (3/24).

STAT: We need smart coronavirus testing, not just more testing
Farzad Mostashari, CEO of Aledade Inc., and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania and member of former Vice President Joe Biden’s public health advisory committee addressing the coronavirus outbreak (3/24).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Opinion: COVID-19 emergency relief must reach everyone, including minorities and indigenous peoples
Claire Thomas, deputy director at Minority Rights Group International (3/24).

Washington Post: Chloroquine isn’t a miracle cure. A tiny amount can poison you.
Karen M. Masterson, professor of science journalism at Stony Brook University and author (3/24).

Washington Post: Biden campaign calls for U.S. international leadership on coronavirus
Josh Rogin, columnist at the Washington Post (3/24).

Washington Post: What it’s like being a New York ER doctor during this pandemic
Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center (3/24).