As states across the country issued lockdown orders in the face of COVID-19, one type of business was almost uniformly deemed essential: liquor stores. For those attempting to work, homeschool kids, and stay home 24/7 without killing anyone, the continued operation of liquor stores and the distilleries that supply them was deeply appreciated. But in … Continue reading Distilleries Should Be Allowed to Produce Hand Sanitizer, and Not Just In Emergencies
Many news reports purporting to explain the ups and downs of COVID-19 cases in nations or states implicitly assume the epidemic is entirely under human control. Infections therefore rise when politicians and people behave badly, in this view, and infections fall when politicians get tougher and/or people get smarter. “Western Europe Avoids New Surge,” claims The … Continue reading Are the Ups and Downs of COVID-19 Cases Due to Politicians?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took two important steps to protect religious freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency’s Office for Civil Rights announced that patients at hospitals within the University of Maryland Medical System may receive visits by clergy amid the pandemic. And, the office said, a medical student at Staten Island University Hospital … Continue reading HHS Acts to Preserve Religious Freedom at Hospitals During Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed another stumbling block in the way of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s futile effort to reduce the country’s drug overdose rate through quotas on the manufacture of all forms of prescription opioids. The DEA’s annual quotas have brought production levels more than 50 percent below 2016 levels. But, in response to the COVID-19 … Continue reading The DEA’s Opioid Production Quotas Threaten Hospitalized Patients, Yet Supply of Street Fentanyl is Plentiful
"How Coronavirus Cases Have Risen Since States Reopened" in The New York Times July 9 claimed, "Florida and South Carolina were among the ﬁrst to open up and are now among the states leading the current surge. In contrast, the states that bore the brunt of cases in March and April but were slower to reopen have … Continue reading Are Surging State COVID-19 Cases Due to Early Reopening?
Bodies are arriving at Anahi Ortiz’s office faster than he can process them. “We’ve literally run out of wheeled carts to put them on,” Ortiz, a coroner in Columbus, Ohio, recently told the Washington Post. The cause of death isn’t the coronavirus, however. It’s drug overdoses. Ortiz says sometimes his office will get as many … Continue reading Another Deadly Cost of COVID-19 Lockdowns: “A Hidden Epidemic” of Drug Overdoses
Last October, California expanded the scope of practice of pharmacists to allow them to prescribe HIV pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post‐exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to people at risk. Similar legislation is currently being considered by the New York state legislature. I have argued here that the Food and Drug Administration should reclassify PrEP and PEP as over the counter. While allowing pharmacists … Continue reading FDA Should Help Defeat Another Viral Epidemic—HIV—By Reclassifying PrEP And PEP Over The Counter
Americans’ mental and emotional health can’t be ignored in the fight against COVID-19. Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for mental health and substance use, joins the show to explain the physiological effects of extended isolation. McCance-Katz is both an epidemiologist and a psychiatrist. That enables her to have a … Continue reading How Extended COVID-19 Lockdowns Pose a Serious Threat to Mental Health
In recent months, even as our attention has been focused on the coronavirus outbreak, there have been a slew of scientific breakthroughs in treating diseases that cause blindness. Researchers at U.S.-based Editas Medicine and Ireland-based Allergan have administered CRISPR for the first time to a person with a genetic disease. This landmark treatment uses the … Continue reading Gene therapy and CRISPR strategies for curing blindness (Yes, you read that right)
Researchers in the U.K report that the inexpensive and commonly‐used steroid dexamethasone reduced the fatality rate of COVID-19 patients on ventilators by 30 percent. This wonderful news makes a lot of sense to health care practitioners. As we learn more about the workings of the novel coronavirus we now understand that many of the most critical cases … Continue reading Another Lesson in Politics, Central Planning, and the Practice of Medicine