Opinion Pieces Discuss Novel Coronavirus Outbreak, Response

Scientific American: Coronavirus Is a Reminder: The Best Defense against a New Viral Outbreak Is Early Detection
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…Infectious disease knows no borders, so when it comes to controlling outbreaks, timing is everything. … That’s why it is so important to detect threats as early as possible, before they spread, and why good disease surveillance is so important. … There are no guaranteed solutions to ensure infectious diseases are always detected early, before they reach densely populated areas. But we do have one cost-effective way of widening the net, through increased government investment in primary health care, particularly in lower-income countries. … No matter how we achieve it, primary health care must be strengthened at a global level to reach every community if we are to widen the surveillance and response net and be fully prepared for these kinds of outbreaks. Until we have a resilient and universal primary health care system, we will be leaving some communities out. And when the next emerging infectious disease strikes, that may simply not be enough” (2/4).

TIME: Why We Are So Ill-Prepared for A Possible Pandemic Like Coronavirus
Michael T. Osterholm, Regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, and Mark Olshaker, writer and documentary filmmaker

“…If we are serious about protecting ourselves [from possible pandemics], governments of the world must make long-term, proactive investments in pharmaceutical agents, medical equipment, supplies, and basic research. … [H]ow do we prepare for a possible pandemic? First, stop messaging that [the coronavirus outbreak is] a low-risk situation for the U.S. — as if we somehow have an impenetrable border to viruses. … Now is the time for every local and regional health care system to plan for the potential wave of patients needing hospital beds, many requiring intensive care. … Most of all, we should regard this crisis as a test case for far larger and deadlier outbreaks surely to come. … Don’t bet that the century’s worth of scientific progress since 1918 alone will save us any more than we could fight a major war without a fully supplied standing army, weapons systems, and battle plans already in place. And if we are surprised again, there may be hell to pay” (2/4).

The Atlantic: My Hometown Is Being Ravaged by the Coronavirus
Xinyan Yu, journalist (2/5).

The Guardian: The coronavirus lays bare the limits of WHO’s health diplomacy with China
Peter Beaumont, senior reporter on the Guardian’s Global Development desk (2/5).

New Humanitarian: Race, epidemics, and the viral economy of health expertise
Adia Benton, associate professor of anthropology at Northwestern University (2/4).

New York Times: The Subtle Muckrakers of the Coronavirus Epidemic
Maria Repnikova, author (2/5).

U.S. News & World Report: The Great Coronavirus Wall Is Breached. Let’s Now Prepare For Its Arrival
Gregory C. Gray, infectious disease epidemiologist, physician, and professor at Duke University (2/3).

Wall Street Journal: Stop a U.S. Coronavirus Outbreak Before It Starts
Luciana Borio, vice president at In-Q-Tel, and Scott Gottlieb, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (2/4).

Washington Post: The coronavirus outbreak shows the vulnerability of the ‘Chinese model’
David Ignatius, columnist at the Washington Post (2/4).

Washington Post: The coronavirus reawakens old racist tropes against Chinese people
John Pomfret, former Washington Post bureau chief in Beijing and author (2/5).

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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