All Writings

Humanizing Healthcare: A Model For Consumer-Based Care

Picture a healthcare system where the human approach takes precedence. One where physicians constantly act in the best interest of the consumer and empower their clients to take charge of their own health needs. Where merging electronic health records update coexisting providers daily and one where we combine the beauty ... read full

Potential New Biomarker To Guide Treatment For Severe Covid-19

A new wave of Covid-19 cases driven by the delta variant has arrived. Hospitalizations will follow suit. There is an urgent need to discern which patients will need the most support. Those arriving at the hospital with Covid-19 may have significantly varying outcomes and some hospitalized patients will develop ... read full

New Studies Highlight Promising Candidates For Second-Generation Covid-19 Vaccines

The first generation of Covid-19 vaccines has performed more spectacularly than we ever could have hoped. But as more variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerge that spread faster and hit harder than their predecessors, it has become clear that the mRNA vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna and adenovirus vaccines of AstraZeneca ... read full

Λ!!: A New Threat On The Rise In South America

Once again, Covid-19 is on the march around the world. Most infections are due to the Delta variant ravaging the Indian subcontinent in the spring and early summer. A second variant, Lambda, is wreaking similar havoc in South America.  The Lambda variant, also known as “C.37,” is driving a rapid increase ... read full

An Argument For Covid-19 Booster Shots To Protect The Vulnerable

On Monday, amid reports that the highly infectious Delta variant is causing surges in new Covid-19 infections in states with low vaccination rates and countries with vaccine shortages, Pfizer announced plans to seek emergency authorization as early as next month for booster shots ... read full

The Delta Dilemma: Loosening Covid-19 Controls At A Time Of Increased Danger

At a time when the United States and many other countries are beginning to lift restrictions, a new, more dangerous variant of SARS-CoV-2 has appeared that has prompted serious rethinking around what containment strategies should look like moving forward. The Delta variant is not only far more transmissible than its predecessors, ... read full

The Dawn Of A New Era Of Regenerative Medicine: Tissue Engineering Comes Of Age

The field of regenerative medicine reached a remarkable milestone recently when four women regained full sexual function after the successful implantation of lab-grown vaginas created from their own cells. The women, aged thirteen to eighteen, were born with a rare medical condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKHS) which left them with ... read full

Infection Through “Fleeting Contact” With The Delta Variant Leads To Lockdowns Across Australia

While many are celebrating declining cases rates in the U.S. due to vaccination, other parts of the world are telling a different story. We are no longer dealing with the original Covid-19 virus that first emerged from Wuhan. Instead, we are dealing with a far more deadly virus, better-termed Covid-21. ... read full

How COVID-19 Changes Our Understanding of Mental Health

In the early months of 2020, city after city, country after country, began to lock down; businesses were closed, schools shut down, and public events canceled. As each of us began an undefined quarantine, all of us were asked to drastically change our lives, often isolating us from critical support ... read full

We Need to Prioritize Mental Health for Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers were already under immense strain prior to the pandemic. A report by the National Academy of Medicine in October 2019 found that between 35 and 54 percent of nurses and doctors experience burnout. Among medical students and residents, the percentage is as ... read full

Will COVID-19 Improve Long Term Care?

While much of the world is reopening and life for those vaccinated has returned to a new normal, many nursing home residents are still living under lockdown after lockdown. A single COVID-19 case in a nursing home can trigger a two-week lockdown for all residents—longer if cases have spread—and a ... read full

Hepatitis-C Drugs And A Remdesivir Metabolite As New Anti-Covid-19 Drugs: The Viral Protein NSP3 Emerges As A New Target.

In the search for new ways to use small molecule drugs to prevent and treat Covid-19 infections, a surprising synergy has emerged. Two drugs—Remdesivir metabolite GS-441524 and combination Hepatitis-C antivirals—both of which target NSP3 hold immediate promise for prevention and treatment of infection by SARS-CoV-2.  Some of these drugs are ... read full

Pediatric Mental Health Is In Crisis

Colorado Children’s hospital has declared a pediatric mental health emergency having witnessed suicide attempts and psychiatric help-calls for children spike during the pandemic. The hospital says they have seen a 90% increase in demand for behavioral health treatment in the past two ... read full

Don’t Let Children Be The Casualties Of Covid-19 Complacency

Collecting comprehensive data on how children are affected by Covid-19 has been neglected in favor of competing priorities during the pandemic. Yet as overall cases currently decline in the U.S., an increasing percentage of cases are children, the issue demands urgent attention. As Covid-19 restrictions are rolled back across the ... read full

Can We End the Pandemic?

At the start of the year, there was reason to hope that we were beginning to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, the daily rate of new cases from the holiday surge began to drop precipitously, and the vaccine rollout accelerated soon thereafter. Although Europe ... read full

New Drug May Bypass SARS-CoV-2 Blockade Of Innate Immune Response

Scientists have identified a small molecule drug that might prevent and treat Covid-19 by targeting a cellular gene that bypasses SARS-CoV-2 blockade of the innate immune response. The drug, diABZI, is currently undergoing phase II clinical trials as a potential cancer treatment. So far, the search for Covid-19 drugs has yet ... read full

How COVID Changed Science

Rarely in recent memory has the world faced such an immediate and widespread global threat as complex as COVID-19. In its face, a select few have risen to the occasion, none more cherished and admired perhaps than the health care workers staffing the front lines. But standing close behind them ... read full

Singapore’s Outbreak Highlights A Challenging Road Ahead For Covid-19 Containment

Singapore has largely been spared from astronomical Covid-19 case counts and lengthy lockdowns due to an early response and an elaborate surveillance system. Before the virus even had a name in late January 2020, Singapore had implemented travel restrictions and an efficient test, trace, and isolate system with penalties in ... read full

The Premonition By Michael Lewis Highlights A Longstanding Need For Structural Reform Of The US Public Health Service

In the face of horrific death tolls and unspeakable trauma, there has been a continued refrain of “never again” through the pandemic. We want the small comfort of knowing that the deaths have not been entirely in vain. Yet history demonstrates that without radical change to the culture in which ... read full

Discovery Of A Novel Monoclonal Antibody That Neutralizes A Broad Range Of Coronaviruses

The Covid-19 pandemic is no isolated incident. Coronaviruses have been coming after us for years. In the past 60 years, there have been as many as five seasonal cold-causing coronaviruses. In the past 20 years, we have dealt with three lethal coronaviruses: SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, the last of which ... read full

A Third SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Interest (Potentially Concern) Emerges From Sub-Saharan Africa

It seems that not a week goes by without the report of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant of interest and possibly, a variant of concern. A variant of interest is the discovery of a cluster of new infections with a SARS-CoV-2 variant with mutants not previously identified. A variant of concern ... read full

Monoclonal antibodies have proved effective in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. Their effectiveness depends on the recognition of specific structures on the surface of the viral spike protein. Over the past six months, we have learned that many of these shape-specific determinants change in ways that abrogate the effectiveness ... read full

mRNA Vaccine Booster Shots Likely Required Within Six Months To Protect Against Covid-19 Variants

The majority of new infections in the US, Europe, and most other countries are now driven by variants. Until recently, the B.1.1.7 variant was the most dominant strain in the UK and throughout Europe and is prevalent in the United States as well. In South Africa the dominant strain is ... read full

A Newly Discovered Antibody Neutralizes Many Variants By Locking The Receptor-Binding Domain In A Closed Position

As SARS-CoV-2 variants grow in type and frequency, Covid-19 researchers are on the hunt for parts of the virus that remain consistent across variants in order to create Covid-19 treatments that work for multiple strains of the virus. This is the fourth in a series discussing these potential Achilles’ heels ... read full

Protecting Indigenous Populations From Covid-19: The Australian Example

Indigenous populations around the world are more likely to be infected by or die of Covid-19. In countries like Canada and Brazil and in the US, Indigenous people are dying at disparate rates to the general population. However there is one notable exception; Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders). ... read full

New Antiviral Drug Cocktail Could Help India Control Brutal Covid-19 Surge

As a brutal second wave of Covid-19 infections rages on in India, more and more states are reporting critical shortages of ventilators and vaccines. The relative scarcity of these provisions means they’ll be difficult to wrangle in time to staunch further suffering and death. But there are drug therapies that ... read full

A New Approach To Treat And Prevent Covid-19

As SARS-CoV-2 variants grow in type and frequency, Covid-19 researchers are on the hunt for parts of the virus that remain consistent across variants in order to create Covid-19 treatments that work for multiple strains of the virus. This is the third in a series discussing these potential Achilles’ heels ... read full

The Logic And Practice Of Strict Border Control In Covid-Free Countries

The recent travel bans imposed on travelers from India and Pakistan by governments across the Middle East and in parts of Europe and North America will likely do very little to stem the spread of the new Indian variant. The variant has already reached more than 17 countries, and it ... read full

Understanding The Neurological And Psychological Effects Of Covid-19

More than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, the subject of “long Covid,” the symptoms of the disease that go on for weeks or months, is gaining in prominence and importance. Of particular interest are the neurological and psychological complications that can linger on in Covid-19 survivors long after they’ve ... read full

An Antibody Cocktail To Lay Low A Mighty Foe

As SARS-CoV-2 variants grow in type and frequency, Covid-19 researchers are on the hunt for parts of the virus that remain consistent across variants in order to create Covid-19 treatments that work for multiple strains of the virus. This is the second in a series discussing these potential Achilles’ heels ... read full

The Common Good of Gun Control and Covid Control

After more than a year of unspeakable tragedy, we continue to be traumatized by new reports of shootings and gun violence. As we grieve those lost in recent shootings, thousands more around the country will be receiving the heart-wrenching news that a loved one has passed away from Covid-19. Each ... read full

As SARS-CoV-2 variants grow in type and frequency, Covid-19 researchers are on the hunt for parts of the virus that remain consistent across variants in order to create Covid-19 treatments that work for multiple strains of the virus. This is the first in a series discussing these potential Achilles’ heels ... read full

Written From The Frontlines Of The Pandemic, Rachel Clarke’s Memoir ‘Breathtaking’ Is A Must Read

Weeks before the first wave of Covid-19 overwhelmed Britain last spring, palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke came down with symptoms that, any other year, would be a dead ringer for the common cold. But one in particular gave her pause: an usual degree of breathlessness. Her husband, a pilot, had ... read full

How Covid-19 Impacts The Digestive System

In late January 2020—when Covid-19, then known as 2019-nCoV, had yet to penetrate most national borders—a research paper was published in The Lancet medical journal detailing the symptoms of a cohort of 41 patients hospitalized in Wuhan, China. The study, though tiny in scale, went on to become the year’s ... read full

The Recent Rise of Indian Covid-19 Cases Display The Dangers Of SARS-CoV-2 Variants

In mere weeks, the second wave of Covid-19 to hit India has gone from bad to worse. At the beginning of March, seven-day averages in India were around 15,000 cases per day. By late April, the rate reached almost 300,000. Today, infection numbers are spiraling out of control. The new ... read full

New Tanzanian Variant Detected In Angola From An Entirely New Branch Of SARS-CoV-2

The versatility of SARS-CoV-2 to evolve new variants that increase transmissibility, virulence, and immune evasion is a new troubling feature of the Covid-19 pandemic. The recent discovery of a novel variant emerging from Tanzania adds a new chapter to this disturbing story. Up until the discovery of the new ... read full

Young People Hit Hardest By Loneliness And Depression During Covid-19

Loneliness can be a risk factor in a range of health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and domestic abuse. All problems that are unsurprisingly increasing as we continue to remain isolated during the pandemic. However it would appear that one demographic is feeling the effects of isolation more than ... read full

Covid-19 Increases Stress And Traumatic Stress Disorders Including Drug Abuse And Fatal Overdoses

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that is caused by a traumatic experience in a person’s life, such as military combat, sexual abuse, violence, disasters, or acts of terrorism. Symptoms often include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and depression as well as uncontrollable and intrusive thoughts surrounding the events ... read full

A Dangerous New Covid-19 Variant Detected In Oregon

The SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 virus, first detected in the UK in late October 2020, has become the dominant strain in the UK, throughout most of Europe and India, and is now the most frequent virus isolated in the United States. The B.1.1.7 variant is more infectious ... read full

An Indian SARS-CoV-2 Variant Lands In California. More Danger Ahead?

Yet another variant of SARS-CoV-2 has arrived on our shores from afar. A recent survey of the viral sequences infecting Californians turned up six independent isolates of a variant that is now circulating widely in India. Over the past two months, infection rates ... read full

HBO Doc ‘The Last Cruise’ Gives Insight Into Nightmarish Covid-19 Outbreak

In the first few minutes of The Last Cruise, a new HBO documentary directed by Hannah Olson, the skies are clear, the waters blue, and aboard the Diamond Princess, aerobics classes involving hundreds are in full swing. The date is January 20, 2020, and the cruise ship has just set sail on ... read full

Despite Progress, Protecting The Population Against Covid-19 Variants Remains Complex

More positive news comes from Pfizer and BioNTech this week as the latest results from their clinical trial data suggest that their vaccine protects against the more contagious B.1.351 variant initially detected in South Africa. The vaccine showed 100 percent efficacy in South Africa, where B.1351 is prevalent. Nine people ... read full

Pfizer’s Successful Covid-19 Vaccine Trial in Adolescents Brings New Hope For Population Immunity And Safe School Re-Openings

Positive news comes from Pfizer this week as they announced the Phase 3 study of their Covid-19 vaccine prevented symptomatic disease and was well-tolerated by adolescents ages 12 to 15. The BNT162b2 vaccine demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses. Trials have also been initiated for the use of the ... read full

Why Was CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Fighting Back Tears?

All public health officials agree, the United States is at a critical stage if we want to control the pandemic. All of them express deep fears that ignoring the Covid-19 pandemic at this stage is foolhardy. Especially dispensing with masks, social distancing, and other mitigations. President Biden has urged states ... read full

New Belgian Variant Illustrates The Versatility Of SARS-CoV-2 In Escaping Immune Suppression

There is now a new mutant to add to the global SARS-CoV-2 variant collection, this one in Belgium. This new Belgian variant (B.1.214), first detected in January by researchers at the University of Liege, although it is only a relatively ... read full

Persistence Of Covid-19 Antibodies Varies Widely From Person To Person

One of the greatest unsolved mysteries of Covid-19 is why the neutralizing antibodies our bodies generate in response to the virus tend to dwindle in number so quickly. A small minority of studies, including one completed in Iceland last summer, have observed lengthier periods of persistence in their participants, but the ... read full

Moderna And Pfizer Vaccines Prevent Infection As Well As Disease: Key Questions Remain

Ever since the US vaccine rollout officially commenced in December, a question that has been top of mind is whether the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines created by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech would perform as well under real-world conditions as they did in the laboratory. Though the clinical trials of mRNA vaccines ... read full

Covid-19 Has Exacerbated Child Poverty, Forcing A Long Overdue Policy Focus

Before Covid-19, the poverty rate in America had been on a slow decline, but the pandemic has stalled—if not reversed—that progress. Among the hardest hit are children from low-income families, where school closures and the high cost of childcare forced previously employed parents to give up their jobs and income ... read full

Spring Break Could Trigger A National Surge In Cases Fueled By Variants

Spring break is upon us as and despite the CDC’s non-essential travel warning, thousands of students and families are still traveling across the country. More than a million passengers have traveled through US airports daily for at least 11 days in a row, according to data from the ... read full

What Can We Learn From Australia’s Covid-19 Response?

Australia’s Covid-19 response has been the envy of many countries with Dr. Fauci recently praising the country for being a world leader on “containment and management of emerging variants”. Aside from a few brief snap lockdowns in certain states, most Australians have been enjoying a relatively normal life with the ... read full

From Cats And Dogs To Minks And Mice, Covid-19 Variants Are Infecting The Ecosystem

To witness a dog come down with Covid-19 is a curious thing. Though mine have been spared, I have a friend whose two dogs got sick in addition to the rest of their family. In videos my friend sent me, I could see the dogs were lethargic, sneezy, and seemingly ... read full

New Study Predicts Immune Protection May Vary For Different Covid-19 Vaccines

After more than a year of lockdowns, isolation, and great loss of human life, the slow but steady rollout of Covid-19 vaccines has given us all a much-needed glimmer of hope. As of March 22, the total number of doses administered worldwide is nearing 500 million, with millions more ... read full

Preventing Fecal-Oral And Fecal-Aerosol Transmission Of Covid-19

Last year, I conducted an interview with a friend who traveled to Shanghai and was forced to quarantine in a hotel for 11 days under the supervision of local health authorities. He was brought hot meals, subjected to temperature checks twice daily, and charged not a cent for his stay—standard ... read full

Third Generation Covid-19 Variant Described In The Philippines

A new SARS-CoV-2 variant has emerged once again, this time in the Philippines. The new variant bears a resemblance to the recently discovered Japanese variant (B.1.1.248) and the infamous Brazilian variant (P.1), known for its dangerous immune-escape capabilities. B.1.1.248 and the Philippine Variant (P.3) seem to be second and third-generation ... read full

COVID-19 Survivors at Risk of Depression and Other Disorders

Two studies have given insight into how COVID-19 symptoms are associated with the probability of subsequent depressive symptoms or psychiatric disorders. The first study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has found that some COVID-19 patients who suffer from prolonged symptoms after recovery, including read full

Novavax Covid-19 Vaccine Performs Well In Clinical Trials, But Variants Remain A Threat

More than 330 million vaccinations have been administered in the fight against Covid-19, and a new vaccine candidate is now ready to enter the ring. Novavax recently completed its final analyses and will seek FDA and international approval in the coming weeks. The new candidate uses a mechanism to ... read full

Molnupiravir: A New Hope For Prevention And Treatment Of Covid-19 And Other Dangerous Viruses

A new Covid-19 therapy has completed its phase two human trial and the results are promising. Molnupiravir, developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP and Merck & Co., reached its endpoint objective of reducing the length of Covid-19 infections, according to a Merck press release. This endpoint, among others, will be examined ... read full

The Covid Pandemic Is Not Over: The Past May Be Prologue

Public health officials have told us that we are in a race between Covid-19 vaccines and the virus. But in order for us to win, we need a much longer track. With a slight decline in new infections—likely the result of a combination of the vaccine rollout and seasonal population ... read full

Clearer Covid-19 guidelines cause less stress for us all

For almost a year, many of us have watched in anger and frustration as we see others flout public health guidelines. A crisis that could have built social solidarity has pushed us further apart. In a year that has brought countless sources of read full

New Study Using Live Virus Explores Whether Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Protects Against Variants

When new variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, were discovered to be circulating around the world, the first question for many was whether they would present a serious problem for nascent vaccination programs against Covid-19. While the answer still eludes us, study by study researchers are firming up ... read full

Covid-19 Reinfections Are Real And Serious—All The More Reason To Be Vaccinated

Emerging news from Brazil on Covid-19 reinfection is a potential warning for all of us on the danger SARS-CoV-2 variants pose, both to those who have already been infected and, very likely, to those who have been vaccinated. This new data on the antibody-resistant Brazilian variant (P.1) can begin to ... read full

The Science-Business Partnership

There is a stark contrast between the scientific and business worlds. In business, there is no real degree-granting barrier. That does not mean that they are not as smart as you. Often because there is no certificate needed they are more experienced, creative, and in fact smarter, especially at what ... read full

The Covid Syndemic: The Mental Health Crisis Of Mental Health Workers

A syndemic refers to multiple interrelated epidemics happening at the same time. Covid-19 has unleashed and amplified a number of simultaneous personal, social, medical, political, and economic crises. This is the first in a series of articles exploring the impact of the Covid-19 syndemic.      When we think of frontline health workers ... read full

T-Cell Responses Hold Up Against SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Study Finds

There is remarkable news regarding the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. It is clear now that the virus mutates to evade the neutralizing antibody responses. There are new results that suggest that is not the whole story. When it comes to another arm of immunity, T-cell immunity, high response to one ... read full

Lessons From The Past And Present For Controlling Covid-19: Polio

Though we’ve cycled through many kinds of public health interventions in our struggle to stop Covid-19 from spreading, mass vaccination is now the primary means through which we’re aiming to end the pandemic for good. Given this, more than ever we need to be studying mass vaccination campaigns that proved ... read full

Variants: Forewarned Is Forearmed— For Those Who Listen

We now know the adaptive power of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Newly described Covid-19 variants isolated in the United Kingdom, South African, Brazil, the United States, and Nigeria appear to be more transmissible, resist neutralization. and may be more virulent. Now turn back the wheels of time. Were we to know about ... read full

The Science Guild

Turn back the wheels of time to the medieval age when knights, kings, and guilds roamed the lands. Through all the endless faults of that societal architecture, the guild system is one I view in high esteem. In essence, the elder craftspeople take it upon themselves to train the ... read full

How COVID-19 could make us healthier

COVID-19 has exposed countless weaknesses and inequities in our health care systems, with long-term effects that will be felt for generations to come. Yet it has also given us an important opportunity to improve where we have failed. Public health is now deeply embedded in our consciousness as a top ... read full

Italian Scientists Create Live SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Escape Variant

Variants spread rapidly through populations and become the dominant strains, at least locally. There has been an enormous effort to understand the extent, function, and epidemiological consequences of these variants. In the past few months, genome sequencing efforts isolated many SARS-CoV-2 variants throughout the world. Other variants were isolated in ... read full

Schools Must Reconsider Accelerating Plans To Reopen In Light Of Dangerous New Covid-19 Variants

Nearly a year has passed since schools across the country began shuttering their doors to protect students, educators, and their families from Covid-19. Since then, many parents juggling work and schooling duties have incurred more stress while making less money; a high percentage of kids ... read full

Covid-19 Cases Are Rising Again Globally

After a period of decline, we are now seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases globally and in the U.S. According to WHO, there was a daily increase of 84,383 cases globally as of February 25, 2021, bringing the total number of current  global confirmed cases to 421,406. (Figure 1). John ... read full

Should Anticoagulants Be Used Early Or Late In Patients Hospitalized With Covid-19: Two Conflicting Answers

Doctors treating patients with a new disease face uncertainties. Will the treatment benefit or harm the patient or make no measurable difference. The results of controlled clinical trials and the difference between treatment and placebo, provide the guideposts for decisions. What must doctors do when the results of early clinical ... read full

New York Finds Its Own Covid Variants. The News Is Not Good.

In a hostile takeover of sorts, SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged the world over, threatening progress made towards ending the Covid-19 pandemic. Certain mutations confer some variants the ability to evade vaccines, whereas others make the virus far more transmissible and more deadly. Here, we analyze the genetic makeup of another ... read full

Identification Of A Novel Covid-19 Variant Cluster Isolated From Covid-19 Ill Infants In US Capital

The variants have caused us to reevaluate our strategies of control for the Covid-19 pandemic. Variants have now popped up from many parts of the world. They confer new and dangerous properties including increased transmission, the ability to evade the immune response elicited from previous infection or vaccination, and increased ... read full

If I Had Covid-19, Should I Still Get Vaccinated? Absolutely

The number of people who have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is growing steadily greater by the day. While most of those vaccinated thus far belong to high-priority, high-risk groups—older adults, health workers, educators, and so on—in due time a much broader swathe of the population ... read full

New Nigerian Variant Continues The Trend Of Dangerous Strains Threatening Covid-19 Progress

The near-simultaneous detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants from the four corners of the globe deepens our uncertainty regarding the future of the pandemic and our ability to control Covid-19.  How serious the problem will be will depend on how many different variants there are, how they differ from one another, how ... read full

Pfizer/BioNtech And Moderna MRNA Covid-19 Vaccines Closely Mimic The Immune Response Of Natural SARS-CoV-2 Infections

As more and more variants of SARS-CoV-2 either emerge or make landfall in the United States, the question of whether they’ll be able to bypass the immune defenses we’ve acquired against Covid-19  becomes increasingly pressing.

The official record states that nearly 30 million people across the United States have had Covid-19 ... read full

The Spread Of New Variants Calls For Extending Quarantine Guidelines

With variants spreading rapidly across the globe, we are entering a new stage of the pandemic and should proceed with caution to save lives. The U.K. B.1.1.7 and South African B.1.351 variants have demonstrated increased transmissibility and shown evidence ... read full

New SARS-CoV-2 Variant Discovered In Japan Nearly Identical To Dangerous Brazilian Variant

As the scientific community becomes keenly aware of the dangers SARS-CoV-2 variants present, increased sequencing efforts seek to uncover new mutants before they begin to spread widely in the population. Among the new variants discovered in recent weeks is the Japanese variant (B.1.1.248) identified both through ... read full

The Chance To Change The World

Science had been the domain of aristocrats and their progeny (cases in point: Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton) since the dawn of the Age of Reason. To study science for most of humanity’s intellectual existence, you were likely wealthy and likely male. For too long, science was dominated by the rich ... read full

Covid Control American Style

The United States is spiraling. Seven-day averages for positive Covid-19 cases have pushed beyond 150,000 per day, having risen sharply after the Thanksgiving holiday and expected to rise again after end of year celebrations. While many wait on distribution of a vaccine, thousands are dying each day — unnecessary ... read full

Variants Could Cause A Rapid Rise In Covid-19 Cases In The U.S. Unless We Implement These Public Health Measures

In a prior column for Forbes, I detailed how the rapid spread of variants across Europe should serve as a warning for the US. I explained how data from the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland collectively demonstrate that the UK B.1.1.7 variant predictably overtakes previously dominating strains ... read full

What Are The 677 Mutations? New Covid-19 Variants Found In The US

This winter, new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have taken the world by storm. They have emerged in corners of the globe as disparate as Brazil and the United Kingdom; exhibited an array of new and worrisome properties, ranging from increased transmissibility to immunogenicity; and complicated our best efforts to collectively mitigate ... read full

NBA Study Reveals The UK Variant May Last Longer In Human Hosts

As variants account for a more significant proportion of global Covid-19 day-by-day, we have to adjust our public health policy accordingly. SARS-CoV-2 variants possess a well-documented bag of tricks. Some are immune-evading, like the South African and Brazilian variants, and others are far more transmissible, like the United Kingdom variant ... read full

How One Covid-19 Patient’s Infection Foreshadowed The Rise Of New Variants

Let’s recap my last few articles on parallel evolution, the term researchers have conceived to describe the ability some viruses have—namely, coronaviruses and influenza—to evolve independently of one another across multiple scales of time and space. Last week I discussed the origins of this theory in influenza research, the recent studies ... read full

Rapid Spread Of Variants Across Europe Is A Dire Warning For The U.S.

Cases of Covid-19 are now found across all continents, but the global rollout of vaccines and declining case rates in several countries have brought hope to many. Globally, four vaccines have been approved for full use and six have ... read full

This Region Of The Covid-19 Virus Is One We Can’t Ignore

In my last two articles, I went over the case studies of the London and Boston patients. Both were immunocompromised and persistently infected with Covid-19. Both also had, in the samples of SARS-CoV-2 taken from their bodies by researchers, mutations that arose independently, but were identical to those seen in ... read full

Persistently Infected Covid-19 Patients: A Potential Source For New Variants

Previously I described the evolution of a viral variant in an immunosuppressed patient in London who was persistently infected with SARS-CoV-2. I also went into detail about the specific changes in the genomes of viruses isolated from the London patient that were identical to those identified in the variants of ... read full

Science Catalyzes Social Responsibility

My work in HIV/AIDS was a confluence of many interests and pursuits. There was a great demand for scientists willing to undertake research in the field. There were a great number of people growing sick and dying at the hands of this disease, and someone had to step in to ... read full

Concerns Grow Over The Newly Discovered Southern California Covid-19 Variant

The rate at which new variants have appeared over the past few months is alarming. In the past few weeks alone, along with the insurgence of the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and South African (B.1.351) variants, more have been identified in Brazil, Ohio, and now California. The increased rates of infection ... read full

Travel Bans Won’t Stop The Spread Of New Variants — Travel Restrictions Might

A lot has been made of the Biden administration’s move to ban non-US travelers from South Africa to the United States and to extend the ban on travelers from Brazil and twenty-eight countries in Europe. The move is an attempt to limit the spread of new, fast-moving variants of SARS-CoV-2, ... read full

Will Population (Herd) Immunity To Covid-19 Be Permanent Or Seasonal?

In just three weeks, the number of Covid-19 cases in the United States has plummeted by 35 percent. Death rates have yet to follow suit, but they have leveled out, with hospitalization rates on the decline, too. Given that the vaccine rollout is still proceeding slowly, the ... read full

Scientists Are More So Artists Than Technicians

Visualize a scientist. What comes to mind? In popular media, scientists are often portrayed as anti-social, nerdy loners who spend all their time in the lab. This couldn’t be further from the case. While there may be some who fall into the stereotype, in my experience, scientists are some of ... read full

Novavax And Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccines Are Less Effective Against The UK And South African Variants

After an estimated 98 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in 62 countries, two more vaccine candidates aim to join the fight. Novavax and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have released ... read full

Eli Lilly’s Latest Combination Antibody Therapy Yields Strong Effectiveness Against Covid-19

While Covid-19 infection rates have taken a downturn in recent days, hospitalizations and deaths are still at all-time highs. The need for effective therapies to treat severe Covid-19 symptoms has never been greater. Eli Lilly is one of the pharmaceutical companies taking on the task of developing these therapies, and ... read full

SARS-CoV-2 Immunity: A Moving Target

The ability of newly discovered variants to reinfect those who have recovered from earlier Covid-19 infection or those immunized with Covid vaccines is a hot topic. The two strains receiving the most attention are the SARS-CoV-2 variants from the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351). There is mounting evidence ... read full

Israeli Study Shows A Majority Of Those Vaccinated Can Be Infected By SARS-CoV-2

As vaccine distribution is picking up with nearly 70 million doses administered worldwide, data regarding large-scale vaccination is becoming available. Last week, Israel released preliminary data on the effects of vaccination for infection. Early indications suggest that after vaccination, as many as 70% of people can ... read full

Autoantibodies May Be The Driver Behind Severe Covid-19 Reactions

While vaccine distribution and President Biden’s inauguration occupied most of the media’s attention, January marked the peaks of hospitalization and deaths among Covid-19 patients in the United States. Over 130,000 were in the hospital with severe Covid-19 symptoms in the past two weeks. ... read full

Science As A Career Path

Science is more than an avenue to pursue your interests, inclinations, and ideas. Science is a stable and ever-present career path for those seeking fulfillment in their work. The opportunities that science opens as a career are almost endless. Take a moment to look around the room you are in. ... read full

A Tale Of Two Viruses

As we enter the last week of January, much uncertainty remains around how new variants of the Covid-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, will shape the year ahead of us. Reports from British officials that B.1.1.7, the so-called UK variant, isn’t just more transmissible than its predecessors but more lethal as ... read full

A Great Moment For Science

For the first time in history, a scientist now sits on the Cabinet of the United States. The move by the Biden administration to elevate the US Office of Science and Technology Policy to a Cabinet-level agency and to welcome its head of office, the Presidential Science Advisor, to the ... read full

This Devastating Covid-19 Outbreak In Brazil Is A Warning To The Rest Of The World

In March 2020, the Brazilian city of Manaus, the largest urban area in the Amazon, identified its first case of Covid-19. Prevalence of the disease went on to peak in early May, bringing untold devastation to local hospitals, economies, and community life. Researchers estimate that by October, as ... read full

For Insight On New Covid-19 Variants, Look To Natural History Of Coronaviruses

I’ve long been a believer in taking lessons from nature, not the laboratory, to understand biology, ecology, and human disease. That’s particularly true of natural infections. When I first learned that Covid-19 was caused by a coronavirus, I hit the books and went back to its natural history. The most recent ... read full

Why Patterns In Covid-19 Variation Might Resemble Seasonal Flu

We’ve learned that some variants of SARS-CoV-2 are more transmissible. Equally troubling is the possibility that future variants — or ones currently circulating off our radar — will in some way compromise our natural immune response, complicating our ability to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients with the antibodies of those ... read full

Biden’s Covid-19 Plan Is A Welcome Relief — But It Needs To Go Further

With great relief, we welcome President Biden’s inauguration and his administration’s robust and rational Covid-19 recovery and economic stimulus plan. The $1.9 trillion plan includes positive steps that public health experts have been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic. While it is painfully overdue, the significant investment signals ... read full

Billions In Low-Income Nations Will Not Receive Their Vaccine Anytime Soon

The urgency to develop and approve Covid-19 vaccines translated into a slow and arduous distribution process. According to the Bloomberg News Vaccine Tracker, a little over 50 million doses of vaccines have been distributed in 51 countries. That leaves only about 7.7 billion more people to ... read full

Self-recognition Is The Greatest Admiration

There are two types of recognition when it comes to achievement. The first is recognition from others. You accomplish something great and are rewarded for it with praise, commendations, awards, promotions, and so on. Those that seek recognition from others are not inherently vain, nor are they wrong for wanting ... read full

The US must develop a national vaccine registry

Vaccine distribution in the United States to this point has been inefficient and ineffective. The incoming Biden administration offers hope that efforts can be turned around, but the concrete strategies to accomplish the turn-around are yet to be detailed. To simplify vaccine data systems, I propose a national vaccine registry ... read full

Can SARS-CoV-2 Become Even More Troublesome Than The UK And South African Variants?

We are rapidly learning how SARS-CoV-2 mutates to create variants with new characteristics. Some of these new variants, such as those found in the UK and South Africa, may affect our ability to control the pandemic, including contagion mitigation, diagnosis, and vaccination. Over the past few weeks, reports show that some ... read full

Researchers Identify New Covid-19 Variant In Ohio

Random variation is an essential component of all living things. It drives diversity, and it is why there are so many different species. Viruses are no exception. Most viruses are experts at changing genomes to adapt to their environment. We now have evidence that the virus that causes Covid, SARS-CoV-2, ... read full

New Covid-19 Variants Reshape Our Understanding Of Reinfection

Random variation is an essential component of all living things. It drives diversity, and it is why there are so many different species. Viruses are no exception. Most viruses are experts at changing genomes to adapt to their environment. We now have evidence that the virus that causes Covid, SARS-CoV-2, ... read full

When Society Returns To Normal Post-Pandemic, Common Viruses Will Return In Droves

Social distancing, wearing masks, and limiting group gatherings are all proven measures to control the spread of Covid-19. If more people follow those safety restrictions actively, the pandemic would be at a much better stage than it currently is. Though, Covid-19 policy measures brought unexpected ... read full

Why America Should Look To China To Contain Covid-19

Since the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, American news media has been rife with stories about how China handled – or according to many of the reports, mishandled – the initial outbreak. The most recent is a story in the New York TimesA Year ... read full

How New Covid-19 Variants Might Impact Vaccines

Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far.

Tiny, random alterations in viral RNA allow SARS-CoV-2 to change over time. Most of these mutations have next to no effect on the virus and some are even corrected using a special proofreading mechanism, slowing the speed of their natural selection. But a large ... read full

How The Vaccine Rollout Went Wrong And What To Do Next

It’s been nearly a month since the Food and Drug Administration granted its first vaccine emergency use authorizations to Moderna and Pfizer. Since then, only about 7 million doses were administered, according to the Centers ... read full

Are We Creating Immune Resistant Variants Of SARS-CoV-2?

In May 2020, a man was hospitalized and, soon after, diagnosed with Covid-19. Within weeks he recovered and went home, only to be readmitted the following month when his Covid-19 symptoms came back with a vengeance. This time he was administered, at distinct yet overlapping intervals, a plurality of treatments, ... read full

Give Your Goals Everything You Have

There are many things you cannot control, e.g. your upbringing, your environment, your parental income. Though the things you can control, you must control with great intensity. Work as hard as you can. You have the power to decide when you are done for the day, when a seemingly unsuccessful ... read full

Who Are The Vaccinated That Still Become Infected?

Vaccine development was one of the few shining lights during a dark past ten months. After a remarkably rapid design and trial period, pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer announced efficacy percentages in the high 90s. A tremendous achievement, but even an ... read full

How To Decipher The New Pfizer Study On Vaccines And Variants

One of the biggest and most pressing questions to arise about new SARS-CoV-2 variants like B.1.1.7, the so-called UK variant with 17 distinct mutations, and the so-called South African variant 501.V2 is whether they’ll impact the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines. In an attempt to offer some reassurance and possibly some answers, ... read full

Genome Sequencing In The United States, Or Lack Thereof

The United Kingdom and South Africa discovered new SARS-CoV-2 variants in their domestic Covid-19 cases. The variants were found using genome sequencing techniques that analyze the structure of the virus and discern mutations. These genome sequencing techniques were regularly used worldwide at the start of the pandemic when we knew ... read full

How The Covid-19 Virus Changes

Random variation is an essential component of all living things. It drives diversity, and it is why there are so many different species. Viruses are no exception. Most viruses are experts at changing genomes to adapt to their environment. We now have evidence that the virus that causes Covid, SARS-CoV-2, ... read full

The Risks Of Delaying Or Diluting Covid-19 Vaccines

With a limited supply of Covid-19 vaccines, the question on many minds is whether to dilute the vaccines or delay the second dose to speed Covid-19 vaccination. My answer is neither—the greatest threat to population protection is virus resistance. Diluting the vaccine or delaying the second dose is a reckless ... read full

New Covid-19 Variants In One Country Pose A Threat To All Countries

New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are an unexpected spanner in the works as countries around the world establish their vaccine distribution regimes. These new variants, which may be more contagious from early observations, pose new challenges in the global fight against Covid-19. SARS-CoV-2 variants cause problems for the afflicted countries and ... read full

Vaccines Need To Be Cheap And Accessible Worldwide

Vaccine development typically takes years of research, design, and trial. For Covid-19 vaccines, pharmaceutical companies took only months to receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. This rapid development should be applauded, but the next steps are equally crucial. These vaccines need to be affordable and accessible, ... read full

Self-understanding Can Yield A Great Global Impact

Any one person can change the world. It’s happened before. An individual or small group of individuals makes a discovery, invents something, or forms an idea that may affect countless lives: Newton, Curie, Einstein—all thinkers whose intellectual ventures impacted the lives of all that followed. If you are determined, one person ... read full

How The US Military Is Handling Covid-19 And What We Can Learn From Their Experience

As vaccine news and Covid-19 case resurgence dominate the media’s attention, the military and its Covid-19 experience seem to be flying under the radar. While we at home isolate and reduce our societal interaction, military members continue to interact with hundreds if not thousands of other military personnel every day. ... read full

It’s Time To Recalibrate: New Covid-19 Strains Will Only Make The Pandemic Worse

The new variant of SARS-CoV-2 emerging in the United Kingdom has made its way to the United States. As Covid-19 grows worse in the United States—around 180,000 cases and 2,000-4,000 deaths per day—this new, potentially more contagious variant ... read full

Science is a Key to Understanding Human Need

Scientific study not only provides an empirical understanding of the world around us. Science is also a key to understand humanity— our needs and how to fulfill those needs. I have always been directed in science by human need.  What good is knowledge if not to use it to better ... read full

There Will Be No Quick COVID Fix

Rather than waiting and hoping that scientists will deliver a fully effective vaccine or breakthrough treatment for COVID-19, the hardest-hit countries need to be fostering better leadership, governance, and social solidarity. Technology alone will not save us from the virus; we must save ourselves.

COVID-19 stormed across the planet in ... read full

Here's what's worrying about the coronavirus variant

The UK government has sounded the alarm about a variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes Covid-19 — which appears to spread more easily than previous versions. While much is still unknown, what we do know about this new variant tells us important things about the virus: ... read full

Covid-19: "Most countries needed a vaccine that could have been produced, stored and administered simply and at low cost"

William Haseltine is president of ACCESS Health International. An infectious disease expert, Haseltine was formerly a Harvard Medical School professor and founder of the university’s cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments. His autobiography, My Lifelong Fight Against Disease, was published in October.

That the Moderna and Pfizer ... read full

The Moderna Vaccine’s Antibodies May Not Last As Long As We Hoped

With the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines finally underway across the United States, data on the vaccines’ effectiveness is starting to become more available. But one key piece of information is still relatively unknown: how long the vaccines’ effectiveness will last. While only a preliminary analysis, a new study by the read full

When Implementing Or Easing Restrictions For Covid-19, Transparency Is Paramount

The coronavirus spread so far and so fast at the beginning of 2020 that most countries around the world were forced to resort to restricting citizens’ movement and shutting down all but the most essential businesses to control its spread. These so-called ... read full

Urban Flight Due To Covid-19 Is Temporary, Not Permanent

As Covid-19 ravages the United States, it seems some may have had enough of densely populated cities, electing to move to the open-space haven of suburbia. Covid-19 is forcing people to question whether they want to live near millions of others. Reports of widespread urban flight must be examined and ... read full

The Mouse That Roared: What The US Can Learn From Andorra About Covid-19 Testing

One country is setting the global standard for Covid-19 testing, and it isn’t the United States. In anticipation of the winter holidays, the small European principality of Andorra has begun distributing rapid, self-administered antigen tests for Covid-19 to all residents over the age of six. These home testing kits are free, ... read full

Covid-19 Home Tests Should Be Much Cheaper

Great news: the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its first over-the-counter, totally at-home test. Unlike previously authorized models, the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test requires neither a laboratory to process results, nor a health worker to facilitate, nor a prescription to purchase. Using an accompanying app ... read full

Why Covid-19 Is Overwhelming California

At this pivotal juncture in our nation’s history, California has become a microcosm of broader developments taking shape across the US.

The country’s most populous state is also its most diverse, home to a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, and economies. To the north lie counties that voted ... read full

Covid-19 Is Preventing Sustainable Investment In Developing Nations

Covid-19 has occupied most of our attention in 2020, and for good reason. We’ve had over 70 million infections, about 1.6 million deaths, and hundreds of thousands more contracting the disease every day. That said, yesteryear’s issues persist, such as our ongoing climate crisis and countries’ attempts at developing ... read full

The Knowledge Puzzle

Using knowledge is like building a puzzle. We spend years gathering bits of knowledge and experience at universities under esteemed professors or labs under respected scientists. These bits of knowledge are the puzzle pieces. An individual puzzle piece is a part of a larger picture, as a bit of knowledge ... read full

Viruses Not Only Kill People. They Kill Economies.

According to Dr. William A. Haseltine, viruses are intelligent machines trying to crack our biological code, our social code and our geopolitical code.viruses-not-only-kill-people-they-kill-economies/ William A. Haseltine has devoted his whole life to the fight against viruses. Researcher, professor, entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, Chair and President of ACCESS Health International, and a ... read full

Science, Policymaking And The Pandemic. Q&A With William Haseltine

Below is an interview between Matthew Bishop and William A. Haseltine on the Driving Change podcast. Listen to the episode here on the Driving Change website: https://drivingchange.org/science-policymaking-and-the-pandemic-qa-with-bill-haseltine/ William Haseltine (WH): During this pandemic we’ve seen a disrespect for science and, at the same time, a deep hunger for science and for rationally based ... read full

The Trouble With Herd Immunity And Covid-19 Vaccines

Now that an independent advisory panel has voted in favor of approving Pfizer’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine, it likely won’t be long before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clears it for emergency use. Within 24 hours of their decision, millions of doses will be en route to health workers ... read full

Even With A Vaccine, We Still Need Rapid Tests To End Covid-19

Yesterday, an independent FDA advisory panel gave Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine—already approved in Britain, Canada, and Saudi Arabia—its vote of confidence, setting it up to be authorized as early as this weekend for emergency use in the United States. Their recommendation extends to anyone age 16 and over, ... read full

COVID-19: An Investment in Our Economy

Policymakers and leaders must recognize that an investment in the health of our people is an investment in our economy The COVID-19 pandemic has already killed 1.5 million and sickened more than 68 million others — so it’s hard to fathom that its final death toll and health consequences will far exceed these ... read full

How Will A Covid-19 Vaccine Impact Travel?

In the past decade, the world has seen a steady rise in travel and tourism that undoubtedly influenced the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic. People flew in and out of China six times as much on a daily basis in 2018 than in 2002—the year SARS, the first coronavirus ... read full

Cancer Rates Are On The Rise In Adolescents And Young Adults New Study Shows

While much of the health system and the world are, understandably, laser focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, it is all too easy to discount other health issues that must be addressed. In a recent study of cancer trends among adolescents and young adults in the US, ... read full

Everyone Deserves Access to High-Quality, Affordable Healthcare

When I was in my early 20s, I dedicated myself to gaining knowledge from the best minds in science and applying it. I vigorously studied molecular biology and virology to understand major plights like cancer and HIV/AIDS. I worked to understand the human genome to enable the discovery of new ... read full

New Study Shows Deep Impact Of Climate Change On Human Health

Our visual narratives of climate change have, historically, been replete with spectacular images of fire and flood. But the blood orange skies that loomed over San Francisco in early September—precipitated by a freak lightning storm that set regions surrounding the Bay Area ablaze—were what captured the ... read full

UK Vaccine Approval Sets Worrying Precedent For World Leaders

When the British government authorized Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for mass use on Wednesday, it didn’t take long for backlash to arrive—first and foremost from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the regulatory entity entrusted with vetting vaccines for the European Union (EU).

Not a day after the announcement, Al Jazeera read full

Modified CDC Guidelines Grant Covid-19 Patients Discretion To Leave Quarantine Early

In recent days, the CDC modified its quarantine guidelines such that infected individuals do not necessarily need to follow them. They still officially recommend fourteen days for Covid-19 isolation before returning to society, but quarantines may be reduced to only seven or ten ... read full

These Forms Of Covid-19 Transmission May Be Rare, But Can’t Be Ignored

Last month, China was struck with its worst outbreak of Covid-19 in months—183 infections across Xinjiang, a city in the western province of Kashgar. While the majority of cases traced back to a garment factory, we now know the true source: contaminated freight trucks.

China is proving to be our ... read full

Americans Need to Establish What Went Wrong

The coronavirus pandemic is a far greater economic and societal threat than anything the United States has faced in recent memory. The 9/11 attacks took nearly 3,000 lives. COVID-19 has taken a quarter million. The nation’s responses to these two threats—one a palpable and immediate terrorist attack; the other a virus ... read full

Why Most Countries Won't Benefit From Moderna And Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccines

That the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines demonstrated efficacy in more than 90 percent of phase 3 trial participants is cause for celebration. Developed at breakneck speed with heretofore unrealized mRNA technology, they have without a doubt made history, especially now that the British government has authorized the Pfizer ... read full

Define Yourself By Your Purpose

We should define ourselves by our purpose in life, not by our institutions or academic achievements.  In today’s age, many seem to define themselves with their resume in mind. “I went to this prestigious University” or “I earned a degree from a school with x% acceptance rate.” While academic achievement ... read full

Congress and the states must fix Trump's COVID-19 mistakes

We face a crossroads today, with the pandemic growing significantly worse but hope for an end to the suffering – through a vaccine or the forceful action of a new president –higher than ever. But the reality is that the President-elect Biden will be able to do little until early ... read full

Put An End To Publication By Proclamation For Covid Vaccines

Covid-19 has dealt a blow to many Americans, physically, mentally, and economically. But even the heaviest of hearts is likely to have been lifted by recent promises from Covid-19 drugmakers about the effectiveness and safety of their vaccines. As hopeful as these promises may be, we have still not seen ... read full

The Biden Team Must Prioritize Cheap Rapid Test Production And Distribution

All of us hope that a Covid-19 vaccine will bring an end to our current suffering. But even in the best-case scenario, by the time a vaccine is widely available, hundreds of thousands more lives will be lost. We must use the tools at our disposal to control the virus. ... read full

The Mental Health Toll Of Covid-19

In September, the American businessman Ted Leonsis tweeted  about an “underreported pandemic: mental health”. His comment about friends he’d lost to suicide sparked a public discussion  on the impact of the pandemic on our mental wellbeing and raised awareness of an issue many kept hidden in the ... read full

One Man, One Plane, Seven Infections And Counting: A Cautionary Tale For All Those Planning Air Travel

In September, a man boarded a flight from Dubai to New Zealand. Not 48 hours before he had tested negative for Covid-19. Days after disembarking, while quarantining in compliance with national containment policy, he and six other passengers of the 86 on board were confirmed to be infected with the ... read full

Don’t Assume A 14-Day Quarantine Is Enough To Prevent Covid-19 Spread

One of the general assumptions we’ve formed about Covid-19 is that when someone is infected, they’re no longer contagious after two weeks—hence the recommended 14-day quarantine. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

Following the first appearance of symptoms, the vast majority of people are unlikely to be infectious for more than ... read full

How Is Covid-19 Impacting The Preparedness Of The US Military?

The outbreak of Covid-19 on the aircraft carrier the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the isolation of members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October highlight an often-overlooked consequence of this pandemic. Despite these clear indications that members of the armed forces are susceptible to Covid-19, there is a troubling ... read full

Covid-19 Reinfection Is Possible And Should Inform Pandemic Priorities Moving Forward

A year after discovering the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pandemic’s end seems just beyond the horizon as more and more hold out hope that a highly effective vaccine may soon be widely available. Returning to a Covid-free reality is a yearning we all share, but there’s reason to believe we ... read full

To Guarantee Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines, Prioritize Long-Term Studies

In the past few weeks, Covid-19 vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna have made headlines with their promising phase 3 trial results. Neck-in-neck in efficacy, both reported reductions in Covid-19 related disease higher than 90 percent. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could open the doors to widespread ... read full

We Finally Have Rapid At-Home Covid-19 Tests. What Happens Now?

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first rapid at-home test for Covid-19. It is a critical step forward in our efforts to contain the spread of disease, though the journey is far from complete.  The test, manufactured by Lucira Health, includes a nasal swab, sample vial, and a ... read full

China Aims To Eliminate Covid-19 With New Testing Policy

On November 6, China debuted a new travel testing policy. Before, incoming airline passengers had to submit results for a conventional PCR test that proved the absence of Covid-19 and, upon landing, head to a predetermined location for a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Now, another item has joined the list: a ... read full

Do Not Ignore Covid-19 Safety This Thanksgiving

After months of isolation and quarantine, many hoped that Covid-19 would be under control by the holiday season so families could reunite. As Thanksgiving approaches, that hope feels like a distant memory as daily cases reach record highs in the United States. Caution must hold precedence over anything else ... read full

The Infection Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Healthcare Workers Worldwide Poses A Threat To National Health Systems

A study recently published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases from thirty-seven countries found that nearly 300,000 healthcare workers had been infected with Covid-19. In addition to the high number of infections, over 2,500 healthcare workers died from ... read full

A Note Of Caution On Moderna’s Promising Covid-19 Vaccine News

Early and favorable Covid-19 vaccine trial results announced this morning by Moderna are another sign that we may be moving ever closer to a medical solution to help us control the spread of this pandemic. But, even if the full data from the trial backs the early results issued in ... read full

Build a plan for Covid-19 home testing on reason, not speculation or politics

John Maynard Keynes once famously observed that there’s nothing as disastrous as a rational investment policy in an irrational world. But when it comes to public health, rational policies make sense even in an irrational or chaotic time like the midst of a severe pandemic. When the government ignores rational health ... read full

“Covid-19 has laid bare the inequities in our health system. What are we going to do about it?”

Covid-19, which disproportionately affects people of color, continues to shine a light on the deep inequities ingrained in our society. Non-whites are more likely to be infected with the virus and suffer from severe illness than their white counterparts, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... read full

A Ray Of Hope For Treatment Of Covid-19

New reports on the effectiveness of two different monoclonal antibody therapies have given us a ray of hope that we can prevent Covid-19 from turning deadly. In these preliminary reports both antibody drugs seem to reduce hospitalization for patients if the drugs ... read full

This Nasal Spray Could Be The Breakthrough We Need To End Covid-19

Researchers have discovered a new peptide, delivered in the form of a nasal spray, that has the potential to end the pandemic sooner than later. It appears to block transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in ferrets, and if it proves effective in humans, a squirt or two up the nose ... read full

Long Lasting HIV Drugs Hold Lessons For Us All

The successful results from a clinical trial of a new, long-acting HIV prevention drug are not just a critical milestone for those working on HIV/AIDS, but also for researchers working on other deadly infectious diseases. The results prove that in the absence of a vaccine for a viral disease like ... read full

A Love of Science

When I wrote my autobiography, My Lifelong Fight Against Disease: From Polio and AIDS to COVID-19, I wrote it with both adults and young readers in mind. In fact, I’m already working on a shortened version of the book specifically for children age 10 to 15. Childhood and adolescence ... read full

Are Frozen Foods A Risk For Covid-19 Infection? Possibly.

In the early days of the pandemic, when much about how SARS-CoV-2 was spread was still very much unknown, consumers were warned to disinfect groceries before putting food onto their shelves or into their refrigerators. But over time, as the respiratory nature of the virus became more fully understood and ... read full

One Tenth Of Americans Infected By Covid-19 Are Children

Children aren’t as likely to become severely ill from Covid-19 as adults, and for this reason their ability to contract and transmit infection is often downplayed or unrecognized. But according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 61,000 children in the United States—a record high—were diagnosed ... read full

Pregnant Women Are At Higher Risk For Severe Covid-19 And Death

recent study, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), confirms that pregnant women are in fact at higher risk for severe Covid-19 and death compared to nonpregnant women in the same age range. Prior to this study, there was concern that ... read full

A More Transparent And Trusted Covid Vaccine

I have long expressed concerns regarding the safety, efficacy, manufacturing quality, distribution, and administration of anti-Covid-19 vaccines. Many of these concerns have now been echoed by reporters at STAT, a publication that has become essential reading for all who follow diagnostic, vaccine, and drug ... read full

How Obesity Puts You At Risk For Covid-19

A new study, released as a preprint in the Lancet, has found that obesity is one of the three greatest risk factors for suffering the most serious consequences of Covid-19, including age. The study give us insight into why Covid-19 has a more serious consequence for the ... read full

Lancet Study Concludes That Public Health Interventions Reduce Viral Transmission

On October 26th, the seven-day average for positive Covid-19 cases in the US was over seventy thousand—a new record. On October 29th, another record was set when over ninety thousand cases were reported in a single day. We are nowhere near the end of the pandemic. As the federal ... read full

Every Day, One Million Americans Likely Infected

While most Americans have their eyes focused squarely on the results of the Presidential election, there’s another number that we should be careful not to lose sight of: the skyrocketing number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections across the US. Over the past week, the country has seen record highs, with almost ... read full

What Are Autoantibodies? The Latest Risk Factor For Severe Covid-19

We know that people who are older, obese, immunocompromised, pregnant, or diabetic are at greater risk of developing severe Covid-19. Now evidence has emerged that establishes another determinant of risk—something that isn’t inherited, but acquired over a lifetime. That is the inability ... read full

Kushner Comments Suggest Covid-19 Decisions Are Politically Motivated

At the start of the summer, the federal government released guidelines to reopen the US economy, then left it to the states to figure out how the job would be done. The poorly organized reopening eventually resulted in a surge of new infections and thousands of Covid-19 related deaths.  While ... read full

New York City Limits The Chances For In-Person Learning For Students

Remote schooling has been a challenge for every parent during this pandemic. For a lucky few who have the luxury of not working or are able to work from home, school closures have been an added stress, but a manageable one. For others parents in need of the income but ... read full

New Research On Flu Vaccines Sheds Light On Covid-19 Vaccines

One of the reasons we get flu shots annually is because new strains of influenza emerge and circulate year in and year out. But another reason, a new study shows, is that vaccine-induced antibodies against influenza tend to fade relatively quickly, most within a year or less. For many of ... read full

The FDA Will Not Inspect Vaccine Production Plants

Approval of a vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) typically requires inspection of the vaccine’s manufacturing plants. In a Covid-19 world, this will not be the case. Covid-19 vaccine candidates will get a pass on FDA plant inspections, according to Bloomberg. As candidates reach the final phases ... read full

New Study Offers More Evidence That Immunity To Covid-19 Fades Quickly

More evidence has emerged that immunity to Covid-19 is quick to fade—in people of all ages, but more so for the old than the young. A recently published British study, currently undergoing peer review, found that the prevalence of Covid-19 antibodies across England has dropped more than 26 percent in ... read full

Eli Lilly Stops Antibody Trial In Hospitalized Covid-19 Patients

How do we understand the decision of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to halt the Eli Lilly antibody treatment trial? Is it a sign that monoclonal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, are ineffective? The Lilly trial combined two drugs designed to interfere with SARS-CoV-2 infection: remdesivir, ... read full

Britain's Moral Bankruptcy Over COVID-19 Vaccines

The COVID vaccine challenge in the United Kingdom—where young, healthy individuals are deliberately infected with SARS-CoV-2—is no gutsy gambit or bold step forward as some have described it. It is instead an act of cowardice and desperation by a government that has failed miserably to contain the spread ... read full

In Brazil, New Study Shows The Poor And Indigenous Suffer The Most From Covid-19

The largest population level study of the prevalence of antibodies against the virus that causes Covid-19 was recently completed in Brazil. Population based information on Covid-19 is crucial to understand the impact of the virus on various segments of the ... read full

Large Contact Tracing Study In India Shows People Of All Ages Can Be Infected With And Transmit COVID-19

The first ever large scale study using contact tracing data from two states in India provides critical new information about the virus that causes Covid-19 and how it spreads. Using data from over 85,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and their 575,071 contacts, the study found that the ... read full

Despite Conflicting Evidence, FDA Approves Covid-19 Drug Remdesivir

On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its first official stamp of approval to a Covid-19 drug — remdesivir. The repurposed antiviral, now also known by the generic name of Veklury, was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in May and has been administered intravenously to hospitalized Covid-19 ... read full

Restructuring The Federal Response To A Pandemic

When Covid-19 began to spread in the United States, the federal government largely left the states to execute Covid-19 control plans individually. Where national mandates and regulations were needed, the federal government failed to deliver. States created their own plans for overcoming Covid-19 and returning to normal life, all of ... read full

Three Takeaways From Major FDA Advisory Meeting On Covid-19 Vaccines

Yesterday a panel of outside experts — formally known as the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee — and laypeople convened to advise the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on how to make the approval process for Covid-19 vaccines safer, more robust, and deserving of public trust. ... read full

Vaccine Transporters Feel Unprepared For The Distributive Effort Ahead

As pharmaceutical companies conduct phase 3 vaccine trials, air cargo transporters are cautious about the logistics involved in the mass distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine. A recent survey found that less than 30% of air cargo companies felt prepared for the job ahead. ... read full

More Troubling Events In The Rush To Find Covid-19 Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson, one of four U.S. companies whose Covid-19 vaccine has advanced to the last phase of clinical trials, has hit pause on a study of 60,000 patients due to a case of “unexplained illness,” according to an official announcement released last week. Whether the illness was caused ... read full

Underfunding Public Health Harms Americans Beyond Covid-19

This is the second of a three-part series analyzing public health infrastructure in the United States. Part one can be found . This midsection analyzes how the public health system is incapable of keeping people healthy even outside the pandemic.  Public health is a federal responsibility. The acronymed agencies of the United ... read full

Eli Lilly Plant Set To Manufacture Covid-19 Therapy Cited For Breaching FDA Regulations

An Eli Lilly pharmaceutical plant set to manufacture a Covid-19 treatment has been cited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for quality control issues, according to Reuters. Sources close to the situation told Reuters that Eli Lilly had falsified records pertaining to FDA manufacturing standards. The Covid-19 treatment Eli Lilly ... read full

Massive Covid-19 Drug Trial Underscores Importance Of Controlled Clinical Studies

The interim results of the World Health Organization’s massive Solidarity Therapeutics Trial are in — and they don’t bode well for remdesivir, the antiviral drug that for months was touted as a moderately effective treatment for Covid-19, and three other drugs. The study, which involved more than 11,300 people across 30 countries ... read full

Compromised Type I Interferon Response Common Among Severe COVID-19 Patients

Why COVID-19 makes some people so much sicker than others is a puzzle we’re continuously trying to crack. Thanks to two studies recently published in Science magazine, we now know of one very specific predisposing factor: a compromised type I interferon response. This discovery has implications for how we diagnose and ... read full

Herd Immunity is a Double Tragedy in the Making

Yesterday we learned that two unnamed White House spokespeople confirmed that achieving “herd immunity” for Covid-19 is part of the President’s plan to control the pandemic. Achieving herd immunity means effectively letting the virus spread unchecked. The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the approach “scientifically and ... read full

How US Public Health Failed You And Me

This is the first of a three part series analyzing public health infrastructure in the United States. This introduction analyzes the governing bodies of US public health and why they are not getting the job done. Covid-19 exposed the failures of our government in the United States. The US government has ... read full

What The Pause In The Johnson & Johnson And Eli Lilly COVID Drug Trials May Mean

For some time now I have been raising concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the Covid vaccine and drug trials. Rushing toward approval—while understandable—can be dangerous. And the recent pause in the Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly trials should give all of us pause. Regarding vaccines: The Covid vaccines currently ... read full

Federal Health Agencies Push Back Against Political Interference

Less than a month before the election and one week into President Trump’s own disease course, the White House is experiencing pushback from its foremost federal health agencies. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released stricter guidelines for authorizing Covid-19 vaccines, ... read full

White House Continues To Choose Political Gain Over Public Health

The White House has made the decision to block a new slate of guidelines for Covid-19 vaccines, halting the latest attempt by the Food and Drug Administration to introduce some measure of regulatory rigor to a race that has escalated into a desperate rush to the finish line. In addition doubling ... read full

Covid-19 Traumatic Stress Disorder

Many of us are familiar with the once uncommon term PTSDpost-traumatic stress disorder—a mental health condition that develops after a person has experienced a traumatic, life-threatening event. People mostly associate PTSD to military personnel, as read full

The Encounter Was Inevitable. Trump Meets The Coronavirus.

President Trump is the most recent in a long line of country leaders to fall victim to infection by SARS-Cov-2. The most notable include the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who came with an angel’s breath of dying in an intensive care ward, Brazil’s President Jair Bolosonaro, Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko ... read full

The Difference Between Covid-19 And HIV/AIDS

This article was originally published on Forbes. For the October issue of Scientific American, I penned a piece on what we can learn from the parallels that exist between the coronavirus and HIV crises.* To this essay, called “Lessons from AIDS for the Covid-19 ... read full

All The President’s Medicine

The article originally appeared in Forbes. No one receives worse medicine, an old saying goes, than the poor and the powerful. The poor because they face so many barriers to medical care and supports, and the powerful because they face no barriers at all. The latest updates on President Trump’s Covid-19 ... read full

This Is Trump’s Last, Best Chance to Tell the Truth About the Virus

This article originally appeared in The Daily Beast.

After months of downplaying the danger of Covid-19, President Trump and the First Lady tested positive and on Friday night the president was taken to the Walter Reed Medical Center “for the next few days” as “a precautionary measure.”

On ... read full

Herd Immunity Will Not Defeat COVID-19

During a September 15 ABC News “town hall”-style event, US President Donald Trump told host George Stephanopoulos that without a vaccine, COVID-19 would still “go away.” Over time, Trump said, “You’ll develop herd – like a herd mentality. It’s going to be – it’s going to be herd-developed, and ... read full

Eroding Faith in Public Health Leaders

This article originally appeared in the Council on Foreign Relations Think Global Health Blog. I have spent my life in science, admiring and working alongside the doctors, researchers, and scientists who lead the United States’ most respected public health institutions—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes ... read full

To Contain COVID-19, Combine Mass Testing With Social And Economic Assistance

Several experts, myself included, have argued that cheap, widespread rapid testing is critical to containing the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States. An article published in Wired Magazine on Monday, while not disavowing the importance of diagnostics, did claim that a strategy too dependent on them cannot accommodate ... read full

Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed

ModernaPfizerAstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson are leading candidates for the completion of a Covid-19 ... read full

What COVID-19 Reinfection Means For Vaccines

We now know repeat infections are possible; understanding them will shape the fight against the pandemic The question of whether we can be reinfected with COVID-19 has been resolved. In August, genome sequencing confirmed that a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong had indeed been infected by the same virus ... read full

Beware of covid-19 vaccine trials designed to succeed from the start

In response to widespread demand for more transparency, pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer have released clinical study protocols for their Covid-19 vaccine trials. The goal is to reassure the public that the trials are being conducted responsibly and that any approved vaccine would be safe for ... read full

Herd immunity is a fantasy

Despite what science or the failed coronavirus strategy in Sweden tell us, people continue to entertain herd immunity as a possible strategy for ending the Covid-19 pandemic. During ABC’s town hall meeting with voters on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the coronavirus would “go away,” even without a vaccine. ... read full

Lessons From AIDS For The COVID-19 Pandemic: We Can Learn From Parallels Between The Coronavirus And HIV Crises

We are engaged in another deadly episode in the historic battle of man versus microbe. These battles have shaped the course of human evolution and of history. We have seen the face of our adversary, in this case a tiny virus.” I spoke these words in testimony before a U.S. ... read full

Why We Can’t Rely On Natural Immunity To Protect Us From Covid-19

There is a question that has crossed all our minds at some point, yet has no satisfactory answer: If I’m infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, how long am I immune? A more technical way of asking the same question is: How long do anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies that bind ... read full

Paused AstraZeneca Trials Emphasize Need For Vaccine Transparency

Astrazeneca, and all the other companies under Food and Drug Administration purview, are developing vaccines for Covid-19. In the midst of current trials across the globe, they paused operation when a participant in the United Kingdom developed symptoms of a spinal inflammatory disease. While this pause is an encouraging ... read full

The University Of Illinois’s Covid-19 Control Shows that Mass Testing is the Answer

The University of Illinois implemented an aggressive testing campaign to reign in the spread of Covid-19. The operation involves testing the entire student body and faculty twice per week—around fifteen thousand tests each day. Students tested positive are alerted and quarantined while the school grants building and facilities access ... read full

A Defense of Self-Testing and Supported Self-Isolation

In a recent CNN article, I proposed a new way of containing Covid-19. The strategy would be a self test and supported self isolation approach, but some are skeptical. Rapid antigen testing at home for Covid-19 on a daily basis increases ... read full

Advice from an expert: What parents need to know about Covid-19

Here is the link to the interview audio Whether you live in a “red zone” or a “green zone,” Covid-19 remains a very real threat across the U.S. Assessing what’s safe and what’s not for your family depends on a range of factors that are confusing and leave us asking ... read full

The Case For Safer Emergency Use Authorizations

In emergency situations such as Covid-19, emergency use authorizations (EUA) are vital and necessary. There needs to be effective treatments and vaccines available to stop the spread of this virus. The failures like hydroxychloroquine show that the EUA process must be robust enough that the authorized products do not harm ... read full

Why AstraZeneca’s Move To Pause Their Vaccine Trial Matters

The clinical hold placed on the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial highlights serious issues with the rush to approve a new Covid vaccine, and the safety of vaccines already green lit for limited use in China and Russia. AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed by a team at Oxford University, ... read full

Herd Immunity: A Reckless and Ineffective Strategy

A White House medical adviser is promoting a “herd immunity” strategy to battle Covid-19. This would involve allowing Sars-CoV-2 to infect a majority of the population under a “benign neglect” strategy as the government would do little to stop it. This strategy would build immunity to a point where the virus ... read full

How we can contain Covid-19 without a vaccine

While the world is waiting for a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, there is a strategy that can potentially bring an end to the pandemic in the United States without the development of pharmaceutical drugs. The strategy, which is cost-effective and compatible with American values like personal freedom, ... read full

Containing Covid—American Style

In the span of last weekend alone, more than 80,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported across the United States. Worse, the disease claims the lives of about 1,000 Americans daily. Meanwhile in China, the country where it all began, the number of cases from the past week didn’t even reach ... read full

New CDC Guidelines Decrease Testing For Those Who Need It Most

The Center for Disease Control updated its Covid-19 testing guidelines to exclude those exposed to the virus who are asymptomatic. This is a sudden change of direction as the previous rendition encouraged everyone who came in contact with an infected person ... read full

Deregulating Covid-19 Treatment Sets Dangerous Precedent for Vaccine Approval

The current Administration in Washington is gambling on deregulation of the Food and Drug Administration. Regulations on Covid-19 testing meant to keep Americans safe are weakened by the Administration in a recent executive order. This change could result in unreliable tests ... read full

Why Most Voters Oppose Schools Reopening

Even as test rates hover around six to seven percent and tens of thousands of new Covid-19 cases are being reported daily, school districts across the country will continue with plans to resume operations in the coming weeks. The latest survey data shows, however, that most Americans oppose reopening ... read full

The Moral Trauma of COVID-19: How the failures of our national leaders have torn the moral fabric of our lives

All of us, whether we have realized it by now or not, are being traumatized by the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s begin with the darkening cloud apparent to many, the question I hear more than any other from my dismayed friends, “How can the richest, most technically advanced country in the ... read full

Back to School: A Tipping Point in US Politics

The debate over opening America’s schools may be the tipping point at which the unending politicization of the Covid-19 pandemic will finally end. Every night, at dinner tables around the country, parents are discussing the one topic that unifies our country—what is best for children. The answer will not be driven by ... read full

What Restarting Sports And Reopening Schools Have In Common

On Saturday, the Mid-American Conference became the first Football Bowl Subdivision to postpone its upcoming season. The announcement comes amidst the most recent debate about schools doing the exact opposite—reopening and requiring students and faculty to return to campus. While many conferences, such as the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, and ... read full

Cheap, Daily Home Tests Are The First Step To Containing The Pandemic

We don’t need drugs or vaccines to stop the Covid-19 pandemic. We can use something that is already available and at our disposal: rapid point-of-care and home diagnostics combined with contact tracing and isolation of possible transmitters. Backed by the right technology and strategy, testing can be used to detect the ... read full

Two-Step Testing Could Slow Covid-19 Transmission Dramatically

In the United States, testing for Covid-19 has become a persistent problem. For some without insurance, it is too costly. For others living in remote or underserved areas, too inaccessible. For us all, far too slow. While some tests ... read full

Will Reopening Gyms Improve Our Well-Being or Put Us at Risk?

Is it better for our health to return to the gym or stay away? Since physical and mental health go hand-in-hand, taking care of both is of the utmost importance—especially during a global pandemic. For months, people have been deprived of a crucial outlet for relieving read full

‘Second Opinion,’ Episode 1: COVID-19’s resurgence

Second Opinion is a new discussion series presented by the Los Angeles Times that takes viewers to the forefront of medical research and conversations about health, science and technology. In the first episode, Los Angeles Times Executive Chairman Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a surgeon and scientist, is joined by renowned biologist and ... read full

The flu could send our health care system into overdrive this winter. This drug offers some hope.

study published in the July 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that the anti-influenza drug baloxavir marboxil significantly reduced transmission of influenza among people living in the same house.

The news comes just in time for the 2020-2021 flu season, which ... read full

New Evidence Suggests Young Children Spread Covid-19 More Efficiently Than Adults

Two new studies, though from different parts of the world, have arrived at the same conclusion: that young children not only transmit SARS-CoV-2 efficiently, but may be major drivers of the pandemic as well. The first, which was published in JAMA yesterday, reports findings from a ... read full

India Approves Antigen Test To Speed Detection And Management Of SARS-CoV-2 Infections

On July 23, India approved a rapid antigen test to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections. The product is called the Pathocatch COVID-19 Antigen Rapid testing kit, developed and manufactured in India by Mylab Discovery Solutions. The test will be used as ... read full

An Investigation Into The Basis For The Loss Of Smell As An Early Symptom Of Covid-19

The loss of the sense of smell and taste has proven to be the most reliable indicator of early infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Between 25% and 50% of people report anosmia and ageusia as the very first symptom of Covid-19. read full

What If There’s No COVID Vaccine?

When it comes to ending the COVID-19 crisis, our experience  can teach us much. Above all, it was never clear during that earlier pandemic whether we could count on an eventual vaccine to be part of the solution. In our efforts to ... read full

The Complex Pathogenesis Of Covid-19

Our understanding of Covid-19 as a disease has evolved rapidly over the course of the pandemic. While many aspects of Covid-19—from its symptoms to its duration to its short- and long-term aftereffects—remain difficult to pin down, we now have enough data to identify four broad stages of infection that can ... read full

Covid-19 Might Be Far More Widespread Than We Think. Here’s What We Can Do About It

Ever since Covid-19 first began to spread, the question of how many people are infected with the disease has remained difficult to answer. Official case counts, it is widely acknowledged, represent only the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile,  that is currently awaiting peer review, suggest that the strains of SARS-CoV-2 we’re ... read full

A Key To Understanding The Race For A Covid-19 Vaccine

Now is the time to prepare yourself for an incoming onslaught of Covid-19 vaccine news. With eight candidates already in human trials and almost 180 more in the wings, publications and press briefings touting progress will soon arrive wave after wave. In ... read full

Midsummer for the Season—But Not the Coronavirus

COVID-19 stormed through our cities and towns but stayed in some locales much longer than others. It came to Asia in January and all but vanished with the winter. In Europe it stormed through countries in early spring and withered away by summer. Here in America, it struck New York ... read full

What Does Disappearing Immunity To Covid-19 Mean For A Vaccine?

The first results of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine trials were officially published Tuesday and the news was good—patients injected with the mRNA-based vaccine produced antibodies that fight the Covid-19 virus. Just how good is this good news? That depends on whether or not you ... read full

We're wasting time talking about herd immunity

Debate over whether herd immunity will be our salvation to the escalating Covid crisis was recently fueled by two new reports.The first was the release of a new nationwide study from Spain, a former Covid hotspot, which suggested that too many lives ... read full

Is It Too Soon To Restart Sports?

After being stuck indoors for months due to Covid-19, many professional and amateur athletes are now returning to center field. But some are wondering if sports may be restarting too soon. The National Basketball Association just announced that 16 of its players have tested positive for Covid-19. To date, 40 Major ... read full

Even without a Covid-19 vaccine, there's reason for hope

A lot of hope has been placed on the possibility of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this year. However, overcoming the technical challenges of developing a vaccine — and the safety issues inherent in making one that works for the populations most at risk — is no easy feat. While ... read full

Lessons for COVID-19 from the Early Days of AIDS

Thirty-six years ago, we were, like today, in the midst of a new and still somewhat mysterious global pandemic. In the U.S. alone, more than one million people were infected with HIV, and 12,000 had already died of AIDS. At the time, we were just beginning to understand how the virus ... read full

We’re Making Exciting Progress In Developing Covid-19 Drugs

Drugs specifically designed to prevent and treat Covid-19 are urgently needed. The good news is they are on their way. The winning strategy for several other viral diseases proved to be drugs that inhibit virus replication in patients. Drugs that treat HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and herpes simplex type 1 and 2 ... read full

The Other Shoe Drops: Gilead’s Outrageous Pricing Of Remdesivir

Gilead says it will charge governments $2,340 and private insurers $3,120 for a 5-day course of remdesivir, a treatment for Covid-19 patients. This is an outrageous price for a drug that has demonstrated little to no ability to save lives or lower viral loads in patients. The few benefits it supposedly ... read full

Women’s Health And The Ripple Effect Of The Covid-19 Pandemic

Covid-19 has upended every aspect of our lives, in ways both seen and unseen. Each day, we witness the damaging effects of the pandemic on our economies and healthcare systems, as businesses shut down and hospitals struggle to meet an overwhelming demand for intensive care services. But inside homes across ... read full

Covid-19 Ping-Pong: Animal To Human, Human To Animal, Animal To Human Transmission. How Great A Danger?

SARS-CoV-2 originally jumped from animals to humans. So too did the virus responsible for SARS and MERS. There is now abundant evidence that humans can transmit SARS-Cov-2 to domestic pets and other animals. The more people infected the greater the risk of creating a permanent animal reservoir of infection; one ... read full

Progress In Monoclonal Antibodies For The Treatment And Prevention-Of Covid-19

A team of scientists recently announced progress in the discovery of a pair of monoclonal antibodies that may be useful for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. The work was described in the June 12th issue of Science Magazine. The scientists began the process by isolating live ... read full

A Tale Of Four Cities: Wuhan, Seattle, New York, Chicago

A new study from Northwestern University in Chicago, available as an unreviewed pre-print, identifies three distinct strains of SARS-CoV-2 currently circulating in Chicago. The three strains, called clades, can be distinguished from one another by the sequence of viral RNA. The variant the authors call ... read full

Protecting Pregnant Women From Covid-19

Many months into the pandemic, we’re beginning to learn more—and in more detail—about how the Covid-19 is disrupting the health and wellbeing of specific populations. Yet for pregnant women and their unborn children, such information has been inconsistent, inconclusive, and altogether lacking. In late April, a group of researchers sounded a read full

The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine

The excitement and enthusiasm for a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 is both palpable and understandable. We all hope for a rapid end to the pandemic and an effective vaccine would be a surefire solution. But there are risks that come with a fast-tracked vaccine delivered end of ... read full

Why Wearing A Face Mask Is The Sanest Thing You Can Do

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently made wearing face masks mandatory. The new order comes after some rebellion against instructions to wear face coverings as Californians claim it is an infraction on their personal freedom. Newsom’s decision follows an all-time-high number of daily new cases in California. However, Californians are not alone in refusing ... read full

Successful Reopening: It's Not What You Think

With most countries still in lockdown, some have started to reopen, and the world is watching. What does it mean to have a successful reopening, and have we witnessed it? Looking at the resurgence of Covid cases in China and in New Zealand, some may find it hard to label ... read full

Immunity To Covid-19 Infection May Fade Quickly

A new study published in Nature Medicine indicates that immunity to infection by SARS-CoV-2 may fade quickly, at least in people with no or moderate symptoms. The duration of protection from reinfection is a subject of intense interest both for convalescents returning to ... read full

More Publication By Press Release, This Time From Sinovac On A Covid Vaccine

Spreading almost as fast as Covid-19 itself are “publications by press release”. The latest comes from Sinovac, the same company that previously withheld comment on animal studies of its candidate Covid vaccine until the supporting data was available for review. Not so this time, for what ... read full

Dexamethasone Reduces Mortality In Seriously Ill Covid-19 Patients—And So Do Other Treatments

Each day doctors are battling to save lives with the limited resources they have. They hope, as do we, that medical science will soon lend them a strong helping hand. A group of doctors announced today they had completed a controlled study in which they compared the survival of patients seriously ... read full

Are Children Less Easily Infected By SARS-CoV-2? Maybe Yes And Maybe No

recently published report in Nature Medicine by a group of British epidemiologists concludes that children are half as likely to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 as adults. The conclusion is based primarily on publicly available data from Wuhan and from five other countries including Canada, Italy, ... read full

Traveling By Air In The Time Of Covid

Doubtless, many of you miss air travel for families, business or pleasure. I certainly do. Yet in this time of Covid, short of a hospital or nursing home, an airplane is a most dangerous place. When you’re in an enclosed space, there is a formula for probability of infection which I developed ... read full

A New CDC Report Shows Covid Disproportionately Affects Those With Underlying Disease And Disadvantaged Minorities

Covid-19 discriminates against those who it sickens and kills. The disease discriminates both by ethnicity and by pre-existing disease. The two are likely to be synonymous given what we know about the social determinants of health. A newly released report by the CDC summarizes ... read full

A mutation shows why the coronavirus is such a formidable foe

All living organisms mutate and adapt to maximize survival in their ecologic niche. For months, scientists have been looking into whether the novel coronavirus — known as SARS-CoV-2 — is mutating and becoming more transmissible or more lethal. Recent evidence points to a preliminary answer to half the question: yes, ... read full

The Role Of Blood Type In Covid-19 Infection And Respiratory Failure

Does having a certain blood type put you at higher risk of developing a severe case of Covid-19? A recent report doesn’t have all the answers, but it does offer some clues. The report, which analyzes the data of almost 2,000 patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in Italy and Spain, found that ... read full

Human COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Are Unnecessary, Uninformative, and Unethical

I was recently stunned to learn of the serious consideration being given to deliberately infecting human volunteers with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to assess the effectiveness of potential COVID-19 vaccines.

My first reaction was that the advocates of such “human challenge studies” had gone so mad with ... read full

A Warning From Sweden

Sweden now has among the highest per capita death rates from Covid-19 in the world. Why? The answer is simple. Sweden was lax in its implementation of protective measures in the face of the outbreak, refusing to implement broad stay at home orders for residents, or to enforce recommendations to wear ... read full

Will Memorial Day 2020 be remembered as the holiday when COVID-19 got the upper hand?

We may have the reason to remember Memorial Day 2020 as the holiday when COVID-19 exploded. Looking around the country over the weekend, there was little evidence that people were making the sacrifices needed to save their own lives and those of their friends and family. In preparation for a TV ... read full

Two Weeks And Ten Million Covid Tests In Wuhan

Over the last two weeks of May, all residents over the age of 5 in Wuhan, China were tested for the presence of active SARS-CoV-2 virus replication. The tests identified 300 people with active infection. None of those tested show any signs of infection. All family members and close contacts ... read full

Covid In Kids: A Reason To Be Wary Of Covid Vaccines

More than a dozen Covid vaccines are in development, with many of them already being tested in humans and many more to begin human trials soon. But what do we actually know about these potential vaccines and why might we be wary of them? ... read full

Covid-19 In Children: A Detailed Study Of 10 Italian Children

The current issue of the Lancet carries a study of 10 Italian children diagnosed with a Kawasaki-like syndrome, recently reclassified by the World Health Organization as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome—Children (MIS-C). The study compares the Covid-19 related syndrome to that observed for 19 children with Kawasaki Syndrome ... read full

Confronting Barriers To Covid-19 Vaccine Acceptance

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is when we will have a Covid-19 vaccine. To that I say, the question is not when, but if. If we don’t have a vaccine, we don’t yet know how safe and effective it will be. Given our well-documented difficulty developing coronavirus vaccines ... read full

A Key Protein That Leads To Covid-19 Infection May Be Less Common In Children, Researchers Find

Once inside the body, the virus moves around by attaching to the same ACE2 protein on other tissues deep in the lungs, the heart, and the kidneys. The receptor can also be found in the lining of blood vessels, and possibly even the taste buds on our tongues. This is ... read full

The Way That Covid-19 Tricks The Immune System Could Result In More Severe Illness

The virus that causes Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-2), has a nasty trick up its sleeve. Upon infection, most viruses trigger a vigorous immune response from both arms of the immune system: a lymphoid response and a myeloid response. Interferons released from infected cells trigger the lymphoid response, resulting in antivirus antibodies which bind ... read full

Remdesivir Revealed

The full data from the remdesivir trial by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finally been released, weeks after preliminary results were shared via press release. Those early results generated a great deal of hype and a world wide stampede for the drug. But the release of ... read full

It’s Too Early For The US Government To Place Risky, Billion Dollar Bets On Covid Vaccines

As American taxpayers, we are justified in asking why the United States government is giving a billion dollars to a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, to develop a very early stage Covid-19 vaccine. Mind you, I am not particularly upset that AstraZeneca is British company, nor that the vaccine candidate was developed ... read full

What Happens If We Can’t Find A Coronavirus Vaccine That Works?

Last Friday, amidst all the heat, hype, and big bucks that greeted even the most modest advances in Covid-19 vaccine development in the United States, a far more sober assessment came from our friends across the pond: read full

Early Study Of Covid-19 Vaccine Developed In China Sees Mixed Results

CanSino Biologic, a company based in Tianjin, China working with a clinical team in Wuhan, report the results of a phase 1 safety trial of an adenovirus vector based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. The virus vector expressed the entire spike protein, the S gene. Three groups of healthy volunteers, 36 per group, ... read full

Moderna’s claim of favorable results in its vaccine trial is an example of ‘publication by press release’

Faith in medicine and science is based on trust. But today, in the rush to share scientific progress in combating covid-19, that trust is being undermined. Private companies, governments and research institutes are holding news conferences to report potential breakthroughs that cannot be verified. The results are always favorable, but the ... read full

MIS-C: A New Name For Covid Kawasaki/Toxic Shock In Young People

There is a new name for a recently recognized set of Covid-19 related symptoms in children and adolescents. The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have assigned the name Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or MIS-C to this disease. The name attempts to encompass the many facets of the disease ... read full

Did The Oxford Covid Vaccine Work In Monkeys? Not Really

The day after data appeared from the vaccine maker Sinovac showed complete protection of rhesus monkeys by their vaccine candidate (whole inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus particles), scientists from the Jenner Institute in Oxford issued a press release announcing that their vaccine (an adenovirus vector based vaccine ... read full

What AIDS Taught Us About Fighting Pandemics

Thirty-five years ago, in the midst of the new and still somewhat unknown AIDS epidemic, I warned in testimony to the US Congress that we were facing another deadly episode in the long battle between humankind and microbes. If asked to testify again I would say the same thing today. Just ... read full

COVID-19 Among Children

Recent reports that SARS-CoV-2 can cause serious life-threatening disease in young people is not good news. A few cases of a Kawasaki-like vascular inflammation in kids age 2-15 were previously noted. As more cases have been identified, more than 100 in New York State alone, this aspect of the disease is coming into focus. The syndrome, now ... read full

Progress And Possibilities For Treating COVID-19

Steady progress is being made in the treatment of patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The advances come together with the understanding that the disease is far more complex than a simple pneumonia. The most recent progress comes from a May 6th report in the examining medical records of 2773 COVID-19 patients in five New York ... read full

One Step Closer To Understanding The Origin Of SARS-CoV-2

Whence SARS-CoV-2, the cause of so much human suffering in the US and around the world? The very first sequence of the virus genome told us much of the story. The virus resembled that which caused the original SARS epidemic (now called SARS-CoV-1) in 2002-2003. Both were members of the same family, beta-coronaviruses. ... read full

Rapid, Accessible, Affordable, Ubiquitous Tests For SARS-CoV-2 Are On The Way

We need rapid, accessible, affordable and ubiquitous tests to detect those who are actively infected and can infect others. The good news is that they are coming soon. SARS-CoV-2 genome tests The first type of test to detect active infection measures the presence of the virus genome. These tests measure the presence ... read full

Why Weren’t We Ready For The Coronavirus?

The latest issue of the New Yorker asks the question that many of us have asked ourselves: Why weren’t we ready for the coronavirus? My reaction when I read the article was that those of us who have warned for years of coming respiratory pandemics were finally ... read full

Which COVID-19 Antivirals Actually Work?

In emergency rooms around the world, doctors and nurses are writing the playbook for treatment of COVID-19. With so much about the virus, the disease, and effect of various treatments still evolving, doctors are improvising on the spot trying to figure out the approach that will give their patients the ... read full

Why Haven’t We Seen The Data On Remdesivir?

Enthusiasm for remdesivir as the new standard of care for COVID-19 has only grown since the release of preliminary results from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) trial. But something is deeply wrong with the way the preliminary results were rolled ... read full

Hong Kong Doctors See Progress In Treatment Of COVID-19

A group of Hong Kong Physicians report in Lancet that a cocktail of drugs approved for the treatment of other viral diseases significantly improved the clinical and laboratory outcomes of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The symptoms of patients treated with the full four drug cocktail resolved more ... read full

Putting COVID-19 Behind Us: A Research Agenda To Prepare For The Next Pandemic

Though many today are too young to remember, this is not the first time our nation has faced down a lethal pandemic. Indeed, this is the third time in my life the world has been overwhelmed by contagions that reshaped societies. The first, polio, read full

Blood Clotting And COVID-19: How Serious Is It?

With each passing day we learn more about SARS-CoV-2 and what it does to our cells and our bodies. It seems, according at least to anecdotal reports, that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can induce serious blood clots in COVID-19 patients, as well as those who are otherwise asymptomatic. Abnormal clotting has ... read full

A Walk With Death

On Saturday I walked with death. The morning dawned bright, clear, a hint of summer warmth in the air. Magnolias and cherry blossoms were flying like fragrant snow, the wisteria and lilac blooming, adding subtle shades of lavender to tender new green of life reborn. We had been eager to enjoy ... read full

Responsible Reopening: A Lesson From NYU Shanghai

This news clip is a glimpse of what reopening looks like for a small university in a country and city that has met the requirements for reopening, according to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and US public health officials: Read full article on Forbes Originally published on Forbes ... read full

Can America Handle a Second Wave?

Like surfers looking out for the next big breaker before the first one has passed, epidemiologists and public-health officials in the United States are bracing themselves for a fresh surge of COVID-19 infections later this year. The fear is that this second wave will coincide with the peak of the ... read full

COVID Immunity: How Protected Are You?

If I have antibodies to the COVID-19 virus, or if I recovered from the disease, am I protected? These are the two burning questions workers and employers are asking today. The answer, at least from what we know today is bound to be unsatisfying—we don’t know.  Mounting evidence from Italy and ... read full

Remdesivir: A Non-Antiviral Antiviral Drug?

There is an interesting line in the Chinese study on remdesivir that has gone almost entirely overlooked, one that introduces an interesting, and potentially serious, conundrum. The authors of the study wrote that “Remdesivir did not result in significant reductions in SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads or detectability in upper respiratory tract ... read full

An urgent need to reopen medical care for all

Each day a new story of crowded hospital corridors and exhausted healthcare workers appears in our newspapers. But another story, equally tragic, is unfolding in the privacy of our homes. Countless Americans with chronic conditions and other serious illnesses languish in isolation without access to care. While hospitals have of ... read full

Urging Caution on Remdesivir

There is palpable excitement today among many regarding the potential of remdesivir to help patients with severe Covid-19 recover. Many are saying there is clear cut evidence that it works, based on a news release issued yesterday by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Yet, an equally important study about ... read full

Reducing The Risk Of In Flight COVID-19 Transmission

All of us fly. Last year, more than 1.5 billion people took to the air. Flying both short and long distances has become a way of life not just for the privileged, but for the many. We always knew air travel was a good way to catch a cold. Many of ... read full

A Letter To Congress: Four Principles For A Safe Economic Reopening

On Monday, a bipartisan group of public health leaders laid out four principles for the safe reopening of the US economy in a letter to Congress. In it, they argued that the key to reopening our economy would be to test, trace and self-isolate and they asked for an ... read full

A Vaccine Candidate Protects Non-Human Primates From SARS-CoV-2 Infection

A pre-print in BioRxiv from a Beijing based biotechnology company company, Sinovac, describes protection of macaque monkeys from infection by SARS-CoV-2 by a vaccine candidate. The candidate is a “killed virus” vaccine prepared by inactivating live virus with beta-Propriolactone, a standard procedure used in inactivate other viruses for use as ... read full

Glimmers of Hope on Covid-19

The scope of the Covid-19 epidemic in parts of the United States is becoming more and more clear. Studies have shown roughly 15% of pregnant women admitted to New York City hospitals tested positive for infection. When you account for missed tests and assuming that sample group is ... read full

Reopening America will require this key thing that's been ignored

Returning to work and school after the coronavirus is urgent and necessary. Virtually all public health officials agree on the three capabilities necessary to reopen society:

1. Availability of tests to identify those actively infected and capable of infecting others. 2. Exhaustive contract tracing to identify those exposed and potentially infected.  3. Self-isolation of those ... read full

How Business Leaders Can Respond Covid-19

Many management books talk about the importance of building trust with customers in order to succeed, but in the age of Covid, trust takes on new meaning.  When businesses reopen, the behavior of customers will be critical to containing new outbreaks. Customers who keep a respectable distance, take care not to ... read full

Monoclonal Antibodies Could Help Fight Against Coronavirus

A group of Chinese scientists report the isolation of two human monoclonal antibodies with the potential to treat and to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections, the causative agent of COVID-19. The work is described in a manuscript made available by The two monoclonal antibodies block binding of the virus to the receptor ... read full

This Is How You Can Return To Work Safely

Public health experts agree on the need for widespread testing to be in place before businesses can reopen and the economy restarts. But not every government official is on board. In May, there is a real risk that Americans will be asked to return to work before our public health ... read full

In Some Hospitals, Surviving COVID Is Almost Twice As Likely

Earlier this month I published a story in Forbes on the importance of reducing in-hospital death rates.  Even among the “best” hospitals in Manhattan, the chances of leaving by the morgue instead of the front door are twice as high in some hospitals as compared to others. One explanation often bandied ... read full

How Many Tests Do We Really Need?

We are all eager to return to normal or at least a new normal. Today’s limits on the availability of tests is the key bottleneck to re-opening We all know more tests are needed. But how many more? Given the urgency to restart our economy this is no time to be ... read full

What Did We Know And When Did We Know It? Disease Surveillance: Past, Present And Future

What can we know, when can we know it, and what can we do with what we know? As COVID-19 moves through our world wreaking destruction upon our social fabric, our lives, and our economies these questions return to haunt me.  I have recently engaged in lengthy conversations with people whose ... read full

Why COVID? Nature’s Code Cracking Machine Intelligence

COVID-19 is a pandemic that never had to happen. To prevent another—or one even worse—we have to internalize a simple lesson about life on earth that we tend to forget. Nature, for all its beauty and wonder, is out to get us. We must use our intellect and technology to ... read full

A New Normal For Hospital Care

Most hospitals and doctors offices are closed for business as usual. Many remain open for exceptional emergencies such as near fatal heart attacks and life threatening accidents. That leaves many of us without routine care or even care for serious chronic illness. For example, my follow up appointments for cancer care ... read full

Test, Trace, and Quarantine to Combat Covid-19

Our Covid-19 response is, unfortunately, off to the worst start in the world. We were unprepared. Testing per capita here lags behind all other developed nations. Even as our testing capacity comes up to speed, it’s important to remember that testing alone is not enough. The key to stopping the ... read full

SARS-CoV-2 -- The Big One

A friend asked me two weeks ago whether or not this pandemic was “the big one”. At the time, I wasn’t sure. Today I can say with certainty, yes. This is big one in terms of lives affected and lost, and economies destroyed. But it is a big one not as ... read full

Urging Caution on Covid-19 Treatments

My appearance earlier this week on Fox News, decrying the promotion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19 was controversial, but I stand by what I said: Studies to date suggest that its benefit for Covid-19 patients will be mild at best—because the drug can ... read full

Taking the Threat of COVID-19 Seriously

In case you are interested, I am scheduled to appear on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News at 8:00pm EST. I welcome your thoughts if you happen to be watching the show.   Tucker has taken the threat of coronavirus seriously since the early days, which is important. We all ... read full

New Study Finds 15% Of Pregnant Women At Two New York Hospitals Tested Positive For COVID-19

At long last, we have a relatively unbiased random sample of the true infection rate of COVID-19 in New York City. Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine reported the results of a screening that was conducted on 215 women admitted to New York City hospitals for delivery. About 15 ... read full

What did we know? When did we know it? And what are we doing about it now? — Reflections on Covid

One topic left mainly unaddressed in our discussions around Covid-19 is data. What data did we have before this outbreak? What data are we collecting today? And how are we ... read full

19% Of People Infected With COVID In The US Are Healthcare Professionals. Almost Three Quarters Of Them Are Women

A report from the CDC found that 19% of people infected with COVID-19 in the United States are healthcare professionals. Women accounted for 73% of those infected, a shockingly high percentage given the preponderance of infection of men over women in the general population. The average age of the healthcare ... read full

How Coronavirus Hits the Poorest Among Us — Reflections on Covid from the Philippines

We Need To Crush The Curve Now—Or COVID-19 Will Come Back To Haunt Us

In a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, communities across the United States have taken action to “flatten the curve.” The curve in question represents the number of people predicted to contract the novel coronavirus over time, while attempts to flatten it have so far included various forms of ... read full

How Do We Reduce Our In Hospital Death Rates?

Never has it been more critical for Americans to understand the importance of in hospital death rates and survival rates associated with hospital stays. Hospitals and emergency rooms today are increasingly overcrowded with those who are critically ill, either from COVID-19 or from other acute illnesses that require immediate medical ... read full

The Challenges Of Testing For COVID-19

The accuracy of tests for SARS-CoV-2 is central to our ability to control the epidemic— knowing who is infected, who has been exposed, and who is immune. It is also central to our ability to reopen businesses and lift restrictive lockdown measures. Unfortunately, our tests are not up to the ... read full

Our Emerging Understanding of the Outbreak — Reflections on Covid

A few days ago, I was in touch with a friend who sits on the board of a European family business. His story reflects the evolution that many of us ... read full

Can We Really Develop a Safe, Effective Coronavirus Vaccine?

In the event of any infectious disease outbreak, our minds turn to vaccines—and they do so for good reason. They’re safe, relatively expensive and have worked well for diseases including smallpox, polio, yellow fever, and, most recently, Ebola. Will a vaccine come as easily for the novel coronavirus? The answer is ... read full

The Economic Impact of the Outbreak — Reflections on Covid

The economic impact of Covid-19 is impossible to determine today, with so much still unknown about how long the outbreak will last and how many will suffer along the way. ... read full

A Troubling Tale of Two Children in the Time of COVID-19

This week, I heard a disconcerting story from a friend of a friend in Boston who was diagnosed with Covid-19. She is just a teenager, but one who has suffered since early childhood from chronic asthma. Just ... read full

Beyond flattening the curve, here's how to end the pandemic

As America enters what President Trump warns will be its “toughest week,” many are hoping that lockdown measures introduced in cities and communities across the country will lessen the devastation we face. The strict social distancing guidelines are an attempt to flatten the curve, an approach that has been described as ... read full

Tests For COVID-19 Are Expensive, But They Don’t Have To Be

There is a huge demand around the world to understand Covid-19. Those experiencing symptoms need to know if they’re infected, while those recovered need to know if they’re able to return to work. The problem of developing technology that can address the crisis has already been solved. Genome amplification tests are ... read full

Geriatricians may be few in number, but play outsized roles against Covid-19 — Reflections on Covid

In country after country, the evidence on the effects of Covid-19 has been clear — the disease disproportionately affects those who are older and who have underlying health conditions. As ... read full

Opportunity Lost: Avoiding Further Missteps With COVID-19 And Future Biothreats

“This is a tragedy that did not have to happen” was Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo’s plaintiff cry at the end of a recent broadcast. I echo his sentiment, not only for the delayed and ineffective action of our federal government which Cuomo decried, but from a lifetime of ... read full

Calm In the Face of Potential SARS-CoV-2 Infection — Reflections on Covid

A few days ago, I posted an interview with a friend who was moved to controlled quarantine in China. Today, I wanted to ... read full

How Antibody Tests Can Be Used To Fight COVID-19

There is a new antibody test that will change the landscape of Covid-19 testing as we know it.  There are now two ways to test for Covid-19: one that measures the actual virus, and one that measures the body’s reaction to the virus. The first is a genome test that detects the ... read full

Why Researchers Are Exploring Antibodies From Recovered Patients For Possible Treatment And Prevention Of COVID-19

Is there a Covid-19 treatment that can treat critically ill, hospitalized patients, on the one hand, and protect healthcare workers on the other? Passive immune therapy has the potential to do both—immediately, and with major improvements over time. Broadly speaking, it involves giving antibodies, in this case specific to Covid-19 ... read full

Why America Is Losing to COVID-19

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s behavior over the past two weeks is exactly what’s wrong with America’s response to COVID-19. Paul has a compromised lung, so he decided that he should be tested for the disease out of an abundance of caution. From the time of his test until he ... read full

Bracing Ourselves for an Explosion of Cases in India — Reflections on Covid

India and its 1.3 billion residents are on a three week lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. The move was in response to troubling new predictions that suggested that ... read full

What A Coronavirus Quarantine Is Really Like — Reflections on Covid

As countries across the globe grapple with growing coronavirus outbreaks, more and more people are searching for true information amid the confusion. Over the course of the next few weeks, ... read full

Why Don’t We Have A Coronavirus Drug Yet—And How We Can Develop One As Soon As Possible

How will the new coronavirus pandemic end? It could prove to be seasonal, meaning it peters out with the weather with a chance of returning at this time next year. A significant plurality of all people on Earth could contract the disease—prolonging its duration, slowing it over time through a gradual ... read full

Is This Coronavirus Epidemic The Big One?

When a friend asked me if this was the big one two weeks ago, I was not sure.  Today I can answer: Yes. This is a big one in terms of lives that will be affected and lost, and economies destroyed. But… It is a big one, not as a consequence of ... read full

Partners In Health Rwanda: Lessons In Eliminating Barriers To Care

In late February, Dr. Krishna Reddy, Country Director of ACCESS Health India, and I traveled to Rwanda to learn more about health systems strengthening from an organization that has proven itself to be a formidable leader in the field: Partners in health and the affiliated University Global Health Equity. Partners In ... read full

Hydroxychloroquine Is Ineffective In Treatment Of Patients Hospitalized With Covid-19, According To Small Controlled Trial From Shanghai

Results from a controlled clinical trial from China on the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19 have shown no significant differences in health outcomes between the control group and patients who received the experimental drug.  Thirty patients hospitalized for Covid-19 participated in the trial. Fifteen were treated with 400mg ... read full

Study Shows Hydroxy Chloroquine Is Ineffective Against Covid-19 — So What Now?

Results from a controlled clinical trial from China on the use of hydroxy chloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19 have shown no significant differences in health outcomes between the control group and patients who received the experimental drug.  Thirty patients hospitalized for Covid-19 participated in the trial. Fifteen were treated with ... read full

Making Global Health Equity The Basis Of Health Education

In a world where the dream of global health equity is made real, every single person—no matter who they are or where they come from—has the ability to lead a healthy and productive life. Health equity has become a hot topic, a guiding principle, and in some cases a main objective ... read full

Coronavirus pandemic could end in these ways – Maybe sooner than we expect

The way public life has changed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic may feel new and frightening to many. But the older among us have lived through similar times and similar fears. There is one thing we know that may bring solace: there will be an end to this pandemic ... read full

Social workers have a key role to play in the war against coronavirus

As the number of Americans critically ill from coronavirus mounts, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: it’s the oldest among us who are most vulnerable. Among the most recent deaths reported in the United States were a 69-year-old man, a man and a woman, each in their 70s, and another woman ... read full

Terrified of Quarantine? Here's What It Actually Looks Like (Part 2 of 2)

There have been many unfortunate moments in America’s quarantine history, from the forced confinement of Typhoid Mary to the barbed wire strung around parts of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the midst of an outbreak of bubonic plague. But quarantine in the time of read full

Wondering What A Coronavirus Quarantine Is Really Like? (Part 1 of 2)

Quarantine is an often disquieting term. From the mid 1300s to today, the word has evoked images of the sick and defenseless being dragged from their homes and locked away with dozens if not hundreds of potentially infectious strangers. The reality in the age of coronavirus though is far different. I ... read full

Coronavirus Mismanagement Is Risking American Lives

It is now clear that the U.S. response to the potential dangers of the coronavirus infection is inadequate, confused, and—worst of all—putting us all at much greater risk than we need to be. Our first mistake was in choosing to develop our own diagnostic testing kits, instead of following the available ... read full

Integrating social care and elder care has many benefits

The social needs of older adults are multifaceted, diverse and, more often than not, unmet. This is especially true for older adults living with disabilities, low incomes or multiple chronic conditions. For many, day-to-day mobility is restricted to the community or the home, limiting their access to elder care services ... read full

Four coronavirus prevention steps we can all take

With the first coronavirus fatality recorded here in the United States, there is a heightened alarm around what may lie ahead for all of us. In truth, there is no telling what damage this force of nature may leave in its wake. But that is not to say ... read full

Mapping A Better Life For Older Adults Of New York

Two weeks ago, The New York Academy of Medicine relaunched its data visualization tool IMAGE: NYC, otherwise known as the Interactive Map of Aging.

Created in partnership with the Center for Urban Research at CUNY, the open source, data driven map ... read full

U.S. hospitals are unprepared for the spread of coronavirus. Here’s what they should do

When the new coronavirus COVID-19 first broke out, China’s healthcare system was unprepared. Hospital waiting rooms were so packed with prospective patients that hundreds more had no choice but to line up outside. Many waited several hours, only to be turned away and urged to self-quarantine. ... read full

Scientists warned about coronavirus for years but got nowhere. Here’s how to fix that.

This article originally appeared in the Washington Post Nature is teaching us a heavy lesson with this latest coronavirus outbreak. It warned us first with SARS and then with MERS, but we didn’t heed the warnings. If we willfully ignore nature this third time, our global community risks ... read full

Why Are We So Fearful of the New Coronavirus?

In the thick of a disease outbreak, the line between panic and preparedness can feel perilously thin. For individuals living with comorbidities like chronic lung and immunodeficiency diseases, the new coronavirus is deadly. To protect them, certain precautions are, indeed, necessary, including the lockdowns enforced by the Chinese government and the ... read full

Solving The Coronavirus Identity Crisis: A Strategy For Prevention

The new coronavirus, like its predecessors, is a beast to be reckoned with. And yet its working name, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is curiously tame. So technical and nondescript a label is hardly befitting of an epidemic that will not only harm thousands, but also demands an urgent, timely response. At ... read full

Escalate Federal Action Against The Coronavirus Before It’s Too Late

The 2019 coronavirus, otherwise known as 2019-nCoV, is spreading faster and further each day. This past Sunday, infectious disease experts told The New York Times that a full blown pandemic is increasingly likely, if not inevitable. Why, then, is the response of the United States government lagging so far behind? To ... read full

What Governments Must Do To Deliver An Anti Coronavirus Drug Within Months

The world needs an anti coronavirus drug as soon as possible—and there is something the United States government can do right now to achieve that.

STAT News recently reported that most big pharma companies have been reluctant to join the search for a vaccine that treats ... read full

The United States isn’t defenseless against the coronavirus, but it is unprepared

“We have it totally under control.”

“It’s going to be just fine.”

Those were the words of US president Donald Trump when he recently weighed in on news of the potential spread of the new coronavirus, dubbed the 2019-novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, to the United States.

He’s wrong. It’s true, ... read full

Want to Prevent Another Coronavirus Epidemic?

Once again we stand unprepared as the third epidemic of a new and deadly coronavirus races around the world. This need not have been the case. We should have learned from the SARS epidemic of 2003, which claimed nearly 800 lives, that coronaviruses can turn deadly. Until then, most health officials ... read full

What Makes This Coronavirus Different—And What We Can Do About It

To date, more than 4,500 people have contracted 2019-nCoV, the new coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China and has spread to numerous countries around the world. The first death from the severe viral respiratory disease was announced January 11, and of those infected ... read full

Can Home Care Workers Help Older Adults Escape Late Life Depression And Anxiety?

Conversations about the mental health of older adults frequently revolve around two things: Alzheimer’s and dementia. While it makes sense that cognitive disorders such as these would occupy a prominent place in the public imagination, the picture they paint of the mental health challenges encountered in old age is nowhere near ... read full

Top 10 Tips For Caring For Older Adults

The creeping prevalence of aging societies isn’t just a challenge for national governments, policymakers, and healthcare providers to solve. It affects everyone who has, or will have, an elder family member or loved one in their lives—and everyone lucky enough to grow old themselves.

Remaining in good health as an ... read full

Good News For The New Year: We’re Making Progress In Global Health

Nicholas Kristof recently  to deliver some good news: for “humanity overall,” 2019 was the “best year ever.”

Kristof’s assessment, while correct, is no reason for fireworks and fanfare. Many people suffered in 2019. So much was lost. To deny the prevalence of such adversity is to look back on human progress ... read full

Long Term Care: Navigating The Decade Ahead

We’re days away from entering what the World Health Organization proclaimed to be “the Decade of Healthy Ageing.” Health systems around the world, however, are woefully underequipped to provide the care that healthy aging requires. From 2020 to 2030, the pressure will be on for national governments, policymakers, and healthcare providers ... read full

Living Longer Is Not Enough: The Case For Aging Well

One of the greatest achievements to come of modern medicine is that humans are living longer than ever. Life expectancy is reaching new heights and showing no sign of dropping. More years to live, naturally, means more years spent in old age. It means ... read full

As Healthcare Goes Digital, Social Care Lags Behind

Since 2009, federal legislation has awarded billions of dollars to physicians and hospitals that make health information technology part of their practice. While many highlighted the downsides of digitization, the providers who unlock its full potential know very well that it benefits clinical care immensely. Most social care ... read full

Using HIV Self Tests To Reach Vulnerable Populations

new study has found that strategically distributed HIV self tests have the potential to not just boost HIV screening rates, but encourage users to seek out treatment and recommend the method to peers also at risk.

Rewind to the mid 1980s, when HIV infections in the ... read full

What Fintech Can Do For Healthcare

In most countries, the process of paying for health coverage is not just costly, but complicated, stressful, and time consuming. It also prohibits people from accessing care.

If exorbitant prescription drug prices and out of pocket expenses were not already enough, healthcare consumers must also navigate payment systems known for ... read full

Why We Should Talk More About Social Care

Although the term “social care” is common in high income countries like Sweden and the U.K., until recently it had little to no currency in U.S. public health discourse. Looking to turn the tide is a new report compiled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and ... read full

Dr. Haseltine Gives Presentation At 9th U.S.-China Health Summit

The annual U.S.-China Health Summit is dedicated to the advancement of global health by promoting the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences of healthcare leaders from the United States, China, and other countries through high level strategic dialogues, leadership development programs, and applied research. For the 9th U.S.-China Health Summit that ... read full

Dr. Haseltine Delivers Keynote Address At 2019 Royal Australasian College Of Medical Administrators Conference

In October 2019, William A. Haseltine presented a workshop on medical management and leadership at the annual Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators Conference in Adelaide, Australia. He also delivered a keynote speech. Haseltine’s interest in improving human health has taken him from the halls of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School ... read full

Ten Steps To Make Healthcare Available To Everyone

Last month, world leaders gathered at the United Nations and approved a new declaration on universal health coverage, committing themselves to achieving universal access to care by 2030 and reaffirming the right to health for everyone, without distinction.

While many countries have made the important step of including the right to ... read full

A Health Information System That Puts People First

Healthcare providers that prioritize cost control over innovative care do their patients—and the people that work for them—a serious disservice. Investing in technology that augments patient centered solutions not only turns a profit, but more importantly gives struggling health systems the data, tools, and collective understanding needed to improve ... read full

How Do You Transform A Healthcare Organization? With Vision

Transforming any organization requires a vision and a road map. The vision is an inspirational view of the future and lets everyone know what they’re working towards. The road map is what they can do to get there and to transition from a bleak present to a bright future. The NYU ... read full

Avoiding The Long-Term-Care Catastrophe

Bruce Chernoff was right when he told the Washington Post that the long-term-care crisis in the United States will be catastrophic. Our aging population and changing demographics mean that we are becoming a nation with substantially more older people in need of care and substantially fewer ... read full

Reflections on Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead

General Jim Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, has just published his memoir, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, written with Bing West. This is one of the best books on leadership I have read.  I have spent a good deal of time studying the qualities and characteristics of effective organizational ... read full

Changing The Culture Of An Organization: The NYU Langone Health Case Study

Earlier this year I was in an Uber headed from Manhattan to Bushwick, Brooklyn. The driver heard me talking about my latest book, World Class: A Story of Adversity, Transformation, and Success at NYU Langone Health. When he heard me mention NYU Langone he jumped in and said, “I need that ... read full

Delivering Patient-Centered Care Through New Technology

Babylon’s GP at Hand is a health app launched in England almost two years ago with the mission “to put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on Earth.” GP at Hand is open to anyone who lives or works within 40 min of its ... read full

A Road Map For Transformation: The NYU Langone Story

A year ago, NYU Langone Health captured the attention of the world with the surprise announcement that all their medical school students would receive full tuition scholarships. That announcement was only the latest in a series of stunning moves by the New York medical center that has transformed from ... read full

Building an Integrated Health System

I will be speaking about building an integrated health system at the  2019 Annual U.S.-China Health Summit on September 26-27 at the Harvard Medical School along with Barry Bloom, Donald Berwick, Erdan Huang, and Yuanli Liu in a session entitled Building a Sustainable & Integrated Health Care System. Growing evidence ... read full

Delivering High Quality Care At A Price Everyone Can Afford: A Case Study

Our country spends more on healthcare than any other developed nation, yet we receive far less compared to others for what we pay. Today, the United States ranks thirty fifth in health outcomes among the 195 nations of the world. When measuring things like infant mortality, maternal mortality, and death ... read full

Inclusive Innovation as a Strategy Towards Affordable Healthcare

Scientific and technological innovation is essential in our efforts to achieve access to affordable healthcare for all. The concept of inclusive innovation, proposed by Dr. R. A. Mashelkar in his article Saving Humanity: More From Less for More People, offers the potential for ‘access equality despite income inequality’ by creating ... read full

Unlocking Solutions to America’s Healthcare Crisis

Health is a human right, enshrined in the Alma Alta declaration by the nations of the world. After satisfying the need for food, after satisfying the need for shelter, the next thing that every human wants to satisfy is the need for health: their own health, the health of ... read full

How Technology Can Transform Patient Care

This year, I was invited to speak at the Aspen Ideas Health Festival about the importance of patient centered care and rebuilding the patient experience. I wrote the article below for the Aspen Ideas Festival blog.  The health care system in the United States is inefficient. Our country spends more on ... read full

Why Our World Is Aging

The world population is aging more quickly than ever before. With this change in demographics come challenges to healthcare systems that governments had never previously envisioned. Greatest among them is how governments can absorb the increasing demands of an aging population on their healthcare systems at the same time ... read full

What's Next In Caring For Older People: The Age-Friendly Health System Movement

Our healthcare system needs to rethink how we care for older adults. Older adults have more complex needs than other populations, but they struggle to meet those needs within and across all care settings — from home to clinics to hospitals and long-term care facilities and back home again. Part ... read full

William A. Haseltine, PhD Joins Grace Therapeutics' Board of Directors

Pioneering Scientist and Former CEO of Human Genome Sciences Brings Key Expertise to Grace’s Board EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J., June 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Grace Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on rare and orphan diseases, announced today that William Haseltine has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Haseltine is currently Chairman and President of ... read full

Sweden's Mobile Healthcare Units Bring Elder Care into the Home

This is the second article in a series exploring how nations are beginning to manage demographic change. In the first article, we talked about the increasing burden that elder care places on healthcare systems worldwide. In this article, we focus on Sweden. Swedes have for many decades enjoyed ... read full
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