Policies unintended consequences. Ethical distribution of limited resources.


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Concluding paragraphs from The Washington Post, March 2, 2020:

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The coronavirus could hit the U.S. harder than other wealthy countries

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Our inequities create unique vulnerabilities —

as does our current political climate

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…To reduce exposure, people with the virus must come forward. They must also identify their contacts. Fear that this may result in deportation or harm for loved ones may make this essential step impossible for many. As we learned during the Ebola and Zika responses in New York City, without the active engagement of immigrant communities that have the closest ties to the countries with the highest burden, prevention efforts could falter.

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We don’t mean for this analysis and its grim outlook for what lies ahead to create additional fear or panic in the United States. Indeed, there is much to be reassured by: For many young, healthy Americans, as well as children, the risk of serious illness and death is low, and health departments across the country are accurately assessing risk and implementing prevention measures.

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.Yet at the national level, we need an intentional, human-rights-based response that pays attention to health equity. This will require honest conversations about the potential human rights challenges posed by quarantine and other measures as well as more discussions about the ethical distribution of limited resources. It may also require some self-reflection on how policies can have unintended consequences for public safety and public health.

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It is not legal for me to provide medical advice without an examination.

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It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.

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