The first is from The National Interest. I like it because it places a lot of emphasis on an area that I think is fundamental, but in which we as a country are not where we should be--transparency:
Today, President Trump, leaders of his administration, Congress, and governors are wrestling with fateful choices about when and how to reopen America’s economy. In designing a program to do that, it is essential that they have the clearest possible understanding of who is actually bearing the lion’s share of the additional burden from coronavirus.
Read the whole thing--it summarizes a report that will be coming out from Harvard's Kennedy School for Government. For our purposes I'll just provide the concluding considerations. They're not highly specific, but do provide a general framework for planning for the future.
First, the author--Graham Allison--provides us with a thumbnail on who exactly can be said to be "targeted" by Covid19. It's not complicated:
- Those over 65;
- Those who are male (3/2);
- Those with severe preexisting conditions;
- African Americans.
Obviously these are overlapping categories, and caveats are required especially with regard to males and African Americans. The Allison does note:
this virus is prejudiced against African-Americans—though not as dramatically as the extreme claims being made.
After setting the stage with basic statistical data, Allison offers some recommendations:
If [the data] now available proves to be roughly right, the implications for what governments at all levels—national, state, and city— should now be doing are profound.
Today, President Donald Trump, leaders of his administration, Congress, and governors are wrestling with fateful choices about when and how to reopen America’s economy. In designing a program to do that, it is essential that they have the clearest possible understanding of who is actually bearing the lion’s share of the additional burden from coronavirus. Assuming the first draft of the alternative diagnosis of the challenge presented in the report is confirmed, might it be possible to find a way to provide greater protection to those most vulnerable to this killer by sheltering them in ways that preclude contact with potential carriers, on the one hand, while re-opening the bulk of the economy, on the other? If something like this were to prove to be the best way forward, the fact that four in five of those over 65 had already retired from the workforce BC would be an advantage.
In the hope of kick-starting a debate that will lead to a better diagnosis than the current Washington consensus, our report makes three recommendations.
Our first recommendation should be incontestable. The time is long past for the CDC and its related agencies to release all the demographics they have about age, sex, race, preexisting conditions, and other attributes of those being infected and dying from this novel killer. Congress and the press should demand that it be released now.
The second recommendation calls on governments at all levels to act to protect those most likely to be victims of this killer. Current choices about the allocation of scarce resources should be reviewed with an eye to differential risks coronavirus is imposing on specific groups. To cite just one example, if males over 65 with preexisting conditions or African Americans are shown to be disproportionately in the crosshairs of this killer, guidelines about who should be at work now and as the economy reopens, and who should remain sheltered at home should take this into account. If they did so, the guidelines the CDC issued last week advising workers in businesses including supermarkets and gas stations who have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case but now show no symptoms, to return to work (as long as they have no temperature and wear face masks) should not include members of the most vulnerable groups.
Finally, we recommend radically widening the debate—far beyond the public health professionals and policymakers now driving the Trump administration’s choices. ...
In fairness to the president, I have no doubt that he's already consulting with lots of people beyond "public health professionals and policymakers."
I won't even quote from the second article, which is at the very liberal Vox:
The Trump administration’s reported plan calls for aggressive testing. The US is simply not there yet.
If you want to read about the importance of testing--which I personally don't doubt--this is the article for you.
Now, before I stop, I'll link to a final article that again illustrates the difficulties we--potentially--face: