LETTER: Partisan politics ruling response

LETTER: Partisan politics ruling response

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As a physician, biostatistician, and epidemiologist, periodicals like the New England Journal of Medicine and the British medical journal the Lancet have been my introvert nerd fix for 20 years.

Normally, these venerable old publications are dry, dispassionate, and apolitical. This week’s scathing editorials on the Trump administration's response to COVID-19 upended all that.

I never thought I’d see the day that NEJM would call our national testing “feebler and more halting than the 19th century work of Florence Nightingale.”

Much less the day that the Lancet would frankly beg Americans to “put a president in the White House come January 2021 who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics.”

These unprecedented statements accurately reflect the shock and dismay expressed by my own friends and colleagues staffing wards filled with struggling patients in Boston, Seattle, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere as armed gunmen stormed state capitols and states across the county “reopened” with minimal precautions.

We’ve been incredibly lucky in our local community that the stay-at-home order came when it did, but the pandemic continues to gather momentum. We have escaped the fate of Chicago so far, but our cases continue to rise.

We all need to work together to increase rapid testing, tracing, and precise quarantine so that increased economic activity can proceed safely with appropriate precautions.

* Nerd credentials: MD (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), MPH (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Anita Ung, Champaign


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