Op-ed: Why the federal government should take the lead on COVID-19

The federal government should play a strong role in guiding how states navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and reopen their economies, according to a May 22, 2020 STAT op-ed by Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Koh detailed several elements a federally led COVID-19 response and recovery plan should have, including national standards for controlling COVID-19 outbreaks and reopening society, testing strategies for high-risk populations and communities of color, and a coordinated system for contact tracing.

“Federal guidance can provide place-based frameworks to guide states as they respond to these outbreaks while tracking common key indicators such as new cases of COVID-19, deaths, hospitalizations, and hospital capacity,” Koh wrote. “Tracking such indicators through a recovery phase can demonstrate that the pandemic can be contained as sectors reopen.”

Read the STAT op-ed: We need one response — not 50 — to fight Covid-19