Expert calls for national coronavirus response, with scientists front and center

The best way to tamp down the surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in many U.S. states is to mount a coordinated national response to the pandemic with scientists in the lead, according to health policy expert Thomas Tsai.

In a July 11 Q&A in Business Insider, Tsai, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, said that the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is even worse than it was in the spring, with some states and cities struggling to meet demand for ICU beds, personal protective equipment, and testing. “Clearly, in the states where the pandemic has gotten out of control, a limited shutdown is needed to prevent hospitals from being overrun,” Tsai said.

If a coordinated national strategy can’t happen for political reasons, governors should form interstate compacts to coordinate testing and social distancing policy, Tsai recommended.

He added, “We need to get the public health experts and scientists back front and center, briefing the country on what the data are every single day … because if the public understands the severity of the pandemic, they’ll understand the level of response that’s needed.”

Read the Business Insider article: One step forward, 2 steps back: Harvard’s Dr. Thomas Tsai assesses Trump’s response to COVID-19, and tells us his fears and hopes about the months ahead