Opinion writers weigh in on issues surrounding the coronavirus.
Boston Globe: Invest More In Outbreak Prevention
It’s not clear yet whether the coronavirus that has killed more than 800 people and shut down much of China will create an emergency here. But it’s already troubling to see that the United States isn’t well prepared to confront it — or the next outbreak. Many US hospitals and urgent-care centers would be swamped by a coronavirus outbreak. Two years ago, hospitals were so overwhelmed by a more familiar threat, flu season, that they set up “surge tents” to treat patients. (2/10)
The Hill: Are Airlines Botching Their Response To Coronavirus Emergency?
Make no mistake, airlines stink when it comes to customer service. More often than not, if we receive high levels of customer service when we travel it is by mistake, because the days of feeling appreciated, spoiled and thanked are long gone. Customer service left us in the 1990s, when airlines fell in love with technology and placed that above their desire for true customer service. Yet, when it comes to how airlines are handling the coronavirus outbreak, airlines deserve high marks. It seems they have learned from history. (Jay Ratliff, 2/9)
The Washington Post: A Smithsonian Team Discovered A New Coronavirus. The Story Behind That Effort Shows What It Takes To Get Ahead Of Potential Pandemics.
Before Marc Valitutto could begin hunting for a deadly virus, he had to find a snake hook for a monk. As a wildlife veterinarian, Valitutto hadn’t received training on how to build trust with people. But shortly after he arrived in Myanmar to look for viruses capable of jumping from animals to humans — such as Zika, Ebola and the coronavirus that is responsible for the current outbreak — he realized he was going to have to learn on the job. (Theresa Vargas, 2/8)
USA Today: Public Health Crisis: After Coronavirus, Another Virus More Serious
“Desperate times require desperate measures.” Hippocrates. Nearly 60 years ago, the late Nobel laureate Sir Peter Medawar defined a virus as “a piece of bad news wrapped in protein.” News of the outbreak of a mysterious viral disease, the coronavirus 2019-n-CoV, in Wuhan, China, has sent shockwaves of fear cascading around the world. The virus is most certainly bad news. (Gordon Patterson, 2/9)
The Detroit News: Michigan Must Prepare For Coronavirus
The Detroit Metropolitan Airport is one of 11 U.S. airports where passengers who have been to China in the last 14 days are being diverted for enhanced screening for coronavirus. With as easily as the virus spreads, that could put Michigan at a higher risk, and state officials have to be ready to address the health threat.The federal government chose Detroit’s airport for screening because it is one of 20 in the U.S. with a federal quarantine station. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is assessing passengers arriving at DTW to determine their risk levels. If passengers are at risk, it’s up to the Wayne County health officials to transport them to area hospitals for isolation. Six states now have confirmed cases of coronavirus. While Michigan is not yet among them, our neighbors Wisconsin and Illinois are not so lucky. (2/8)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/perspectives-medical-teams-in-u-s-lack-funding-staff-to-prevent-big-coronavirus-outbreak/