Opinion Pieces Discuss Response To Coronavirus Outbreak

Health Affairs: What Questions Should Global Health Policy Makers Be Asking About The Novel Coronavirus?
Lawrence O. Gostin, O’Neill Professor of Global Health Law and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University

“…The world needs to be prepared for the possibility that this international outbreak will not be contained in the foreseeable future. Here are some key questions that global health policy makers should be asking: What Is the Significance Of The WHO-Having Declared Global Health Emergency? … Unfortunately, the declaration of a PHEIC does not have major legal significance. … Should WHO Have the Flexibility to Declare an ‘Intermediate-Tier’ Emergency? … This idea has been discussed in the scientific literature, and it could have merit. … Is a ‘Lockdown’ in Wuhan city and Wider Hubei Province Justified? … [T]he available evidence suggests we should view mass quarantines with deep suspicion. … What is the Best Public Health Strategy? … The international community should mobilize its funding of research and development of a vaccine and antiviral medications for novel coronaviruses. Political leaders should mobilize funding for a surge public health response. And the WHO should demonstrate leadership by convening an international consensus meeting to develop a Global Plan of Action, including experts in public health, scientific research, health care, and anthropology. … Is There a Significant Risk in the United States or other High-Income Countries? … What is the Legal Basis, and Justifications, for Quarantines of Citizens, Foreign Nationals, and Others Arriving at U.S. Ports of Entry from Hubei and Wider China? … [W]hen the international community does respond to an ongoing outbreak like the one in Hubei province, it should use classic public health tools and avoid draconian overreaction” (2/3).

The Hill: Disease knows no borders: Responding to coronavirus
Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), member of the Oversight and Reform Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee, and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

“…Currently, … U.S. global health security efforts and the interagency capacity to respond to such outbreaks as the coronavirus are largely reliant on an executive order and not specifically supported in law. That is why we introduced the bipartisan Global Health Security Act (H.R. 2166) in order to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to promoting global health security. The Global Health Security Act codifies U.S. investments in developing preparedness and response capacity abroad for public health threats to reduce or prevent their spread across borders. This bill also bolsters U.S. commitments under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) … Republican and Democratic presidents alike have recognized the critical importance of global health security … As we’ve seen time and time again, disease knows no borders, and global health crises have immense security, economic, and humanitarian consequences. We know that saving lives from the next global pandemic starts with investing in preparedness before it strikes. Our Global Health Security Act allows us to do just that” (2/3).

Washington Post: It’s time for a ‘no regrets’ approach to coronavirus
Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development and lecturer at Georgetown University

“…[W]hat would a no-regrets approach to mitigating 2019-nCoV entail? It would mean prudent over-preparation, rather than reckless overreaction. … A responsible no-regrets approach by public health authorities and global leaders would … rapidly organize and finance a robust set of measures to dramatically accelerate health system preparedness, while also planning for policies that could be triggered if a worst-case scenario emerges. An important starting point is vigorous support to front-line health providers. … Countries should also plan for extreme contingency scenarios in which normal health facilities become overwhelmed. … Finally, countries should be ready to rapidly stand up an empowered global coordinating platform to lead international action. … We are at a critical point with this outbreak. … Policymakers must focus on meaningful mitigation strategies, not symbolic public-health theater” (2/4).

Bloomberg: How the Coronavirus Could Help Trump
Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg Opinion columnist and professor of economics at George Mason University (2/3).

The Conversation: The Trump administration has made the U.S. less ready for infectious disease outbreaks like coronavirus
Linda J. Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan senior lecturer in public policy and public finance at Harvard Kennedy School (2/3).

Foreign Policy: Chinese Officials Can’t Help Lying About the Wuhan Virus
James Palmer, senior editor at Foreign Policy (2/3).

The Times: Invest in research to fight the viruses that threaten us all
Joe Cerrell, managing director for global policy and advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2/3).

Washington Post: Trump freaked out over Ebola. Coronavirus doesn’t push the same buttons for him.
Ana Marie Cox, host of Crooked Media’s “With Friends Like These” (2/4).