¿What did the open letter signed by more than 700 experts about coronavirus directed to VP Mike Pence say?
700 public health and human rights experts and organizations wrote an open letter to federal government officials about the proliferation of coronavirus in the US. The letter establishes many recommendations to tackle a potential widespread outbreak of coronavirus in the US.
“As the coronavirus spreads in our communities, governments must mount a fair and effective response that maintains public trust, is grounded in science, and leaves no individual — particularly the vulnerable — behind. This will not only better protect the health and security of each of us, but also the economy,” said Gregg Gonsalves, Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale Law School.
“Sustained human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus in the United States (US) appears today inevitable. The extent and impact of the outbreak in the US is difficult to predict and will depend crucially on how policymakers and leaders react. It will depend particularly on whether there is adequate funding and support for the response; fair and effective management of surging health care demand; careful and evidence-based mitigation of public fear; and necessary support and resources for fair and effective infection control,” the letter says at the beginning.
The authors state that the government must give specialized authorities adequate funding, that there must be fair and effective management of enormous healthcare demands due to the outbreak, government support for infection control, and a proper PR management for reducing public fear.
Coronavirus affects older populations and other vulnerable groups in a much more direct way than younger, healthy people. Thus, the signees say that vulnerable populations must be able to have access to adequate care, and policymakers and lawmakers must guarantee that insurance is not a barrier for access to testing or care.
One of the key points of the letter is that the government has to guarantee that people cooperate with health officials. That means that it’s necessary to avoid public panic and help people to take voluntary measures. For example, there must be adequate funding to help people stay home if they’re infected and to support measures such as school and business closures, and quarantines in graver cases.
“If people are afraid to go to a hospital or to respond to requests from public health officials, then they — and all of us — are at much greater risk,” said Amy Kapczynski, Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership. “We need to protect our communities by enabling everyone to seek care and to help in the response.”
For this, it’s vital to keep a transparent, direct, and trustworthy public communication of whatever happens with coronavirus in the US, if authorities intend to preserve public trust and want citizens to cooperate with them.
The US doesn’t seem to be poised for a major coronavirus outbreak, and, in any case, the virus has a less than 2 % mortality rate. However, if such an outbreak is to be avoided, authorities must take all of the necessary precautions.