A shout out to MGH’s FLARE (“Fast Literature Assessment Review Email”), a daily MailChimp Newsletter reviewing SARS-CoV-2 and COVID 19 issues that’s put together by MGH’s Pulmonary & Critical Care Divisions and Dept. of Medicine. They do an excellent job of putting together a succinct, referenced review of salient topics. Details and recent issues located here and you can subscribe here.
From a very good opinion piece by Barry Berke in the NY Times; he makes some excellent comparisons between Trumpian behavior before and after impeachment, including making the point that Trump dealt with governors seeking COVID-19 aid the same way he dealt with the Ukranian Prime Minister. Quid Pro Quo indeed. Impeachment Taught Trump All the Wrong Lessons
• From an article by Susan Glasser in The New Yorker – The Coronavirus and How the United States Ended Up With Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags:
“What they did not foresee was that the federal government might never come to the rescue. They did not realize this was a government failure by design—not a problem to be fixed but a policy choice by President Trump that either would not or could not be undone. “No one can believe it. That’s the No. 1 problem with the whole situation: the facts are known, but they are inconceivable,” Ries told me. “So we are just in denial.”…Independent reporting has corroborated what Ries and other volunteers saw for themselves: “a fragmented procurement system now descending into chaos,” as the Associated Press put it. The news agency found that not a single shipment of medical-grade N95 masks arrived at U.S. ports during the month of March. The federal government was not only disorganized; it was absent. Federal agencies waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders for the urgently needed supplies, the A.P. found. The first large U.S. government order to the big U.S. producer 3M, for a hundred and seventy-three million dollars’ worth of N95 masks, was not placed until March 21st.“
• I thought this was an outstanding, thorough, and accessible synthesis of the history and science of genetics, interwoven with stories that demonstrated points made and enlivened the read. I don’t know how Siddhartha Mukherjee could possibly find the time to work as a clinician and research and write both this book and The Emperor of All Maladies; however he managed it, they are outstanding reads. Brilliant work! The Gene, ISBN 978-1476733500.
• The U.S. Approach to Public Health: Neglect, Panic, Repeat.
From a NYT Opinion column by Jeneen Interlandi: “A once-in-a-century public health crisis is unfolding, and the richest country in the world is struggling to mount an effective response. Hospitals don’t have enough gowns or masks to protect doctors and nurses, nor enough intensive care beds to treat the surge of patients…Nearly all of these problems might have been averted by a strong, national public health system, but in America, no such system exists.
Time to give new life to an old idea: A strong public health system is the best guarantor of good health.”
• OK, I admit it. I like ice cream. Not every kind, some more than others, but I definitely enjoy eating it more than is probably good for me.