News Outlets Examine Trump’s Attitude On Face Masks; Administration’s Defunding Of Virus Research; NEJM Editorial Denouncing White House Pandemic Response

The Hill: New England Journal of Medicine blasts Trump officials’ response to virus, calls for new leaders
“The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, in an unprecedented editorial, denounced the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and called for voting out ‘current political leaders’ who are ‘dangerously incompetent.’ The harshly worded editorial is the first time the prestigious medical journal, which usually stays out of politics, has weighed in on an election…” (Sullivan, 10/7).

NPR: Ironic Twist: In Spring Trump Halted Research Key To COVID-19 Drug He’s Now Taken
“…Beginning in 2014, virus experts in the U.S. tested remdesivir against some of the bat strains [of coronaviruses] that EcoHealth Alliance had discovered. The results were promising — helping to elevate remdesivir’s profile within pharmaceutical research such that, when the current coronavirus hit, the drug was one of the first options scientists proposed trying against it. Yet in April the National Institutes of Health abruptly terminated funding for the China bat research project with no clear explanation. In the weeks earlier, Trump administration officials had been pushing a largely discredited theory that the Chinese lab that EcoHealth Alliance was partnered with — the Wuhan Institute of Virology — had accidentally released the virus causing COVID-19. And at a White House press conference days before the funding was pulled, Trump erroneously implied that the entirety of the money had gone to the Wuhan Institute and promised that his administration would take action on the issue…” (Aizenman, 10/7).

Washington Post: Trump’s resistance to face masks, even while he is infected with coronavirus, sets him apart from other world leaders
“Among world leaders, President Trump is increasingly isolated on the issue of face masks. After he cast doubt for months on masks’ efficacy in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, his resistance to White House precautions even after contracting the virus seemed to forestall the possibility of an about-face. While many world leaders have supported the use of face masks and have chosen to wear them during public appearances — despite, in some cases, earlier reluctance of their own — Trump has delivered mixed, sometimes contradictory guidance, and has often appeared without a mask, donning one in public for the first time in July…” (Noack, 10/7).

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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