Yep. The Brits Have It: The Lancet Is… Spot On.

Do go read it all, but this is a world-class medical journal — and it benefits from a view, from some distance (across the pond). . . as to what all is sorely lacking in the US response.

The rest of the world is frankly terrified — that come November, four per cent of the world’s population will vote for a leader that effectively sets access to vaccines and medical breakthroughs. . . for the other 96 per cent of the planet. To be sure, we are world citizens too, and we should vote, with the health care of the world, in mind — more so than at any time in our lives, to date:

. . . .In the decades following its founding in 1946, the CDC became a national pillar of public health and globally respected. It trained cadres of applied epidemiologists to be deployed in the USA and abroad. CDC scientists have helped to discover new viruses and develop accurate tests for them. CDC support was instrumental in helping WHO to eradicate smallpox. However, funding to the CDC for a long time has been subject to conservative politics that have increasingly eroded the agency’s ability to mount effective, evidence-based public health responses. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration resisted providing the sufficient budget that the CDC needed to fight the HIV/AIDS crisis. The George W. Bush administration put restrictions on global and domestic HIV prevention and reproductive health programming.

The Trump administration further chipped away at the CDC’s capacity to combat infectious diseases. CDC staff in China were cut back with the last remaining CDC officer recalled home from the China CDC in July, 2019, leaving an intelligence vacuum when COVID-19 began to emerge. In a press conference on Feb 25, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned US citizens to prepare for major disruptions to movement and everyday life. Messonnier subsequently no longer appeared at White House briefings on COVID-19. More recently, the Trump administration has questioned guidelines that the CDC has provided. These actions have undermined the CDC’s leadership and its work during the COVID-19 pandemic. . . .

The USA is still nowhere near able to provide the basic surveillance or laboratory testing infrastructure needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. . . .

But punishing the agency by marginalising and hobbling it is not the solution. The Administration is obsessed with magic bullets — vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear. But only a steadfast reliance on basic public health principles, like test, trace, and isolate, will see the emergency brought to an end, and this requires an effective national public health agency. The CDC needs a director who can provide leadership without the threat of being silenced and who has the technical capacity to lead today’s complicated effort.

The Trump administration’s further erosion of the CDC will harm global cooperation in science and public health, as it is trying to do by defunding WHO. A strong CDC is needed to respond to public health threats, both domestic and international, and to help prevent the next inevitable pandemic. Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics. . . .

So it goes. . . we are being called to a higher purpose. Will we collectively. . . answer that call, in the face of the most severe threat to us all, in over a generation? I hope so. . . onward — with a wry smile. For. . .hope is the best, of all things. . . .

Saturday morning — off, for a sunny bike ride, by the lake. . . grinning — as my “mini-Pompei” experiment has failed; utterly. . . but as ever, we learn more. . . actual science from our failures, than our successes. Ever grinning. . . .

नमस्ते

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