Editorial pages focus on issues surrounding the spread of coronavirus.
The Wall Street Journal: Trump Versus The Coronavirus
Let us simplify: If anything close to “community spread” occurs in the U.S., two political careers will be at risk—Donald Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’s, in the middle of a presidential campaign. If the virus expands in the U.S., both the content and the quality of the response will be on President Trump. As such, the coronavirus could be the issue on which Mr. Trump finally blows himself up with Twitter. (Daniel Henninger, 2/26)
The Washington Post: How Trump’s Response To Coronavirus Matches Up With What Experts Say Government Should Do
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that the spread of the novel coronavirus within the United States is “inevitable.” On Wednesday evening, amid criticism from Congress and 2020 Democratic candidates, as well as alarm among some conservatives, President Trump held a news conference to try to assure Americans this virus wasn’t amounting to much and that the government is doing all it can to stop its spread. So what are the steps the government can take, and why are there bipartisan concerns that the Trump administration is ill-prepared to protect us? Let’s walk through this. (Amber Phillips, 2/26)
Fox News: America Is Not Ready For A Coronavirus Outbreak Or Any Major Epidemic
The city of San Francisco has just declared a state of emergency in response to coronavirus, and yet, you’ll remember that for a month Western leaders told us that the virus was under control and was unlikely to cause serious problems for anyone in our hemisphere. None of that was true. But saying it was less painful than rethinking the failed theology of globalism, so they went with it. (Tucker Carlson, 2/25)
The New York Times: Let’s Call It Trumpvirus
So, our Coronavirus Czar is going to be … Mike Pence. Feeling more secure? “I know full well the importance of presidential leadership,” the vice president said as soon as he was introduced in his new role.Totally qualified. First criteria for every job in this administration is capacity for praising the gloriousness of our commander in chief. Yeah, when you think of Mike Pence you maybe don’t think about Pandemic Fighter Supreme. But as President Trump pointed out repeatedly, he has already run Indiana. (Gail Collins, 2/26)
Los Angeles Times: If Our Government Were Competent, Would Coronavirus Be So Scary?
Panic and fear over this disease outbreak aren’t going to be washed away quickly, even if a vaccine is soon developed or the virus runs its course. Reluctance to travel will persist, and officials may well continue canceling big public events — as Italian authorities cut short the annual Venice Carnival and tightened restrictions on Milan’s fashion week in recent days. Businesses will have to learn that as their supply chains become more attenuated and reach into parts of the country where they have little control over events, they’ll have to develop Plans B, C and D to cope with the unexpected. The public may learn the dangers of placing people in charge of government who don’t project skill at what they’re doing or a commitment to the task at hand.COVID-19 may teach us that although we can muddle through good times without sound planning and competent leadership, in bad times nothing is more important. (Michael Hiltzik, 2/26)
CNN: The Best Defense Against Coronavirus
As an infectious disease physician and medical microbiologist who has successfully treated patients with Ebola virus disease in the US, I am being asked a lot of questions about the new coronavirus, Covid-19. One person I spoke with was concerned that the reading glasses she had ordered from China might be contaminated with the virus and dangerous to her health. The short answer: highly unlikely. (Colleen Kraft, 2/26)
The New York Times: Welcome To The Age Of Pandemics
In early 2018, during a meeting at the World Health Organization in Geneva, a group of experts I belong to (the R&D Blueprint) coined the term “Disease X”: We were referring to the next pandemic, which would be caused by an unknown, novel pathogen that hadn’t yet entered the human population. As the world stands today on the edge of the pandemic precipice, it’s worth taking a moment to consider whether Covid-19 is the disease our group was warning about. Disease X, we said back then, would likely result from a virus originating in animals and would emerge somewhere on the planet where economic development drives people and wildlife together. (Daszak, 2/27)
Politico: The White House Shouldn’t Downplay The Coronavirus
The White House has been walking into a coronavirus trap. By pooh-poohing worries about the virus and saying everything is under control, it set itself up for the charge, if things get even a little bit bad, that it was self-deluding and overly complacent. It would be accused of making mission-accomplished statements before the mission truly began. The administration is already getting attacked for its cuts to the epidemic teams at the National Security Council and Department of Homeland Security. If the virus spreads significantly in the U.S., it will be attributed entirely to these moves, fairly or not. (Rich Lowry, 2/24)
New England Journal of Medicine: Escaping Pandora’s Box — Another Novel Coronavirus
The 1918 influenza pandemic was the deadliest event in human history (50 million or more deaths, equivalent in proportion to 200 million in today’s global population). For more than a century, it has stood as a benchmark against which all other pandemics and disease emergences have been measured. We should remember the 1918 pandemic as we deal with yet another infectious-disease emergency: the growing epidemic of novel coronavirus infectious disease (Covid-19), which is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This virus has been spreading throughout China for at least 2 months, has been exported to at least 36 other countries, and has been seeding more than two secondary cases for every primary case. (David M. Morens, M.D., Peter Daszak, Ph.D., and Jeffery K. Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D., 2/26)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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