Posts

Smallpox Eradication and the COVID-19 Response
June 28, 2020 Written by Leigh Henderson
Can smallpox eradication be a model for tackling the COVID-19 epidemic? Yes and no. Smallpox eradication could not have succeeded without its basic management, organization, and epidemiologic principles. These ‘lessons’ apply broadly and can influence the success or failure of global public health programs. However, the two diseases are very different. Smallpox had many characteristics that made it a viable candidate for eradication, and the strategies used took advantage of these. Confronting COVID-19 will require different strategies.

Interview with Dr. Irwin Redlener
June 26, 2020
Dr. Irwin Redlener is the founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University where he holds professorships in public health and pediatrics. In a wide ranging interview, Dr. Redlener discusses key COVID-19 issues: underlying medical conditions, therapeutics, vaccines, the age issue, communicating with the public, alternativestandards of care, lockdown and reopening, schools and daycare, and nursing homes.

Interview with Dr. Amesh Adalja
June 23, 2020
Dr. Amesh Adalja is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security. He practices infectious disease, critical care, and emergency medicine in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Our interview with Dr. Adalja covered a wide-range of topics including: Lessons Learned During First Four Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Testing (virus and antibody), Reopening the Economy, Therapeutics, MMR and TB Vaccines, The Age Issue, Schools and Daycare, I Think I May Have Been Exposed–What to Do?, and more.

Easing The Burden—What We Missed
June 17, 2020 Written by Leigh Henderson
When COVID-19 was first reported, most of the population was self-quarantined and non-essential businesses were closed. We were told that this would ‘flatten’ the epidemic curve. It would extend the duration of the epidemic but would ease the burden on overtaxed hospitals. The number of patients would be distributed over a longer period, but there would be fewer at any one time. Why did we not take the most obvious step to ‘ease the burden’?

The Coming Food Crisis
June 14, 2020 Written by John Hoffman
Everyone in the United States has now become painfully aware of how computer I am not sure that leaders at all levels fully appreciate the grave danger we face with our food supply, our economy and our nation. The food system in the United States represents one sixth of our economy. Historically, as the food system goes, so goes the economy. The national food infrastructure has always had a direct impact on confidence in government.

Understanding the Limitations of Computer Modeling
June 2, 2020 Written by Dennis Haugh, Dave Morgan and Ron Scott
Everyone in the United States has now become painfully aware of how computer models can impact their lives. We can no longer ignore their existence. Every citizen needs to have a rudimentary understanding, not of modeling itself—but of when it can be trusted and when it cannot.

We Need Challenge Studies for COVID-19 Vaccines
May 25, 2020 by Col Randy Larsen, USAF (Ret)
Combined with standard testing protocols, challenge studies could accelerate development of a safe and effective vaccine. Challenge studies involve giving a developmental vaccine to volunteers followed by infecting those volunteers with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Who Should Be in Charge of the COVID-19 Response?
May 23, 2020 by Col Randy Larsen, USAF (Ret)
We are embroiled in a contentious and highly polarized debate about many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic response, most particularly regarding when and how to reopen America. Every potential choice carries with it a cost in terms of human life and suffering. The president, governors, county executives, and mayors clearly need to listen to the experts, both inside and outside of government but ultimately, the decisions will be made by elected officials. 

Reopening is a Critical Health Issue
May 22, 2020 by Col Randy Larsen, USAF (Ret)
The ban on elective procedures—including heart valve replacements, bone marrow transplants, organ donations, and cancer screenings could kill more Americans than COVID-19. This is not just an argument about health vs the economy. It is about health vs health. (Also see April 22, 2020 article by A. J. Kay.)

Smallpox is Dead
May 19, 2020 by Leigh Henderson, PhD
One of the most significant anniversaries in human history passed recently with little fanfare. Forty years ago, on May 8, 1980, the World Health Assembly declared that smallpox had been eradicated. A Good War, in podcasts, articles, and interviews, will introduce the unsung heroes of smallpox eradication—smallpox warriors, as they call themselves. Many of the warriors recorded their personal thoughts in diaries, letters, and memoirs. This epic story is largely unknown outside the fields of public health and medicine—it is an inspiring story about a small group of selfless heroes. They came from a variety of countries and cultures. Most of them were young, dedicated, and idealistic. They thought they could change the world—and they did.

Pandemic Wave Scenarios: What You Need to Know About COVID-19, Today and Tomorrow
April 11, 2020 by Michael Osterholm, PhD
Dr. Osterholm is not only a world-class epidemiologist, but also a fabulous communicator. You might have seen him on TV during the past few months and in this podcast he has the time to explain the details behind the headlines and sound bites. We highly recommend listening to his weekly podcasts.

Interview with Dr. Luciana Borio: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3
May 6, 2020 by Luciana Borio, MD
Dr Borio talks about COVID-19 testing, vaccine and therapeutics. She served as the Director of Medical and Biodefense Preparedness Policy at the National Security Council in the White House. Prior to that, she was acting Chief Scientist at the Food and Drug Administration. 

Warning: Do Not Wear the Wrong Type of N-95 Mask
May 22, 2020 by Col Randy Larsen, USAF (Ret)
There are many types of N-95 masks available but do not use one with an exhalation valve during this pandemic.  For those of us not in a medical setting but wanting to help prevent further spread of COVID-19, a face covering is a very important public health procedure when outside your home.

Can We Develop a Safe Vaccine?
April 30, 2020 by William A. Haseltine, PhD
Nearly every day we hear or read new information about when we will have a vaccine for COVID-19. This is one of the most informative articles I have read and one doesn’t need to have a PhD in immunology to understand it.

The Food Supply Chain is Breaking
April 28, 2020 by John Hoffman
“The food supply chain is breaking,” wrote board Chairman John Tyson in a full-page advertisement published Sunday in The New York Times, Washington Post and Arkansas Democrat- Gazette.  

Don’t Let the Pandemic Stop You From Voting
April 22, 2020 by Col Randy Larsen, USAF (Ret)
Few things are more important for a healthy democracy than elections.  This November will be the first national election during a pandemic in more than 100 years.  The time to prepare is now—we can’t afford to kick this can down the road. 

Do You Have Questions About Antibody Testing?
April 22, 2020 by Gigi Kwik Gronvall, PhD
Watching the talking heads on TV and reading all the articles can be confusing and overwhelming. We recommend you read this report by Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security to help answer some of your questions.

Name-calling is Not Helpful for Pandemic Risk Reduction
April 22, 2020 by Peter Jutro, PhD
The recent name-calling regarding COVID-19 (Wuhan virus, Chinese virus, or Kung Flu) is hardly without precedent, but certainly not helpful for preventing the next pandemic. History provides us with many examples of nations attempting to shift blame for disease problems.

The Ban on Elective Procedures is Killing More People Than COVID-19
April 22, 2020 by A. J. Kay
The lockdown orders and elective procedure bans were instituted with the intent to save lives. However, our failure to safely and quickly resume elective surgeries when lockdowns helped blunt the impending crisis has financially crippled our hospitals and private practices, led to mass furloughs and denied healthcare to those who need it most.

Made in China: How U.S. Dependence on Chinese Medicines and Components Could Pose a Security Threat
April 22, 2020 by Rosemary Gibson
As America struggles to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, one has to wonder how we allowed ourselves to become so dependent on China for critically important pharmaceutics. This didn’t happen overnight. For more than two decades America has been off-shoring our pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities. This is a serious national security problem.

How to Win the War on Coronavirus
April 22, 2020 by Col Randy Larsen, USAF (Ret)
WWIII has begun. And it is not just a war against COVID-19, it is a war against infectious disease. WWIII will be a good war—a war between the human race and infectious diseases.

A Good War Needs You
April 22, 2020 by Col Randy Larsen, USAF (Ret)
We created A Good War to help inform you and your family during the epic battle against COVID-19. America’s top public health leaders will be among the contributors, along with heroes working on the frontlines.