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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Protests And The Pandemic

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Following the loss of life of George Floyd whereas in custody in Minneapolis, protests have mushroomed across the U.S. to decry police violence, elevating issues amongst public well being officers concerning the potential for additional unfold of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the financial toll of the persevering with pandemic is prompting some states to cancel or cut back plans to develop well being protection to extra of their residents.

And President Donald Trump mentioned he’ll withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization. But it appears he lacks the authorized authority to do this on his personal.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Mary Agnes Carey of KHN and Joanne Kenen of Politico.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

Although public well being officers are warning concerning the risks of a resurgence of COVID-19 attributable to the mass gatherings to protest Floyd’s loss of life, if instances do spike, it could be laborious to separate out that impact from the overall reopening of the economic system occurring about the identical time. The issues about racial inequalities highlighted by the large demonstrations embrace well being disparities which have taken a giant toll on minority communities. But fixing these inequities could be very costly, and it’s not clear given the present financial downturn how federal or state officers would provide you with funding to sort out these points. Also, as they observe the demonstrations, many consultants are noting that racism and violence are public well being points, too. Trump’s resolution to tug out of the World Health Organization hampers U.S. efforts to play a task in pivotal selections across the globe, particularly on points akin to HIV/AIDS, malaria, flu and Ebola. Those are areas through which the WHO is seen as a frontrunner on coverage and analysis. The sudden slowdown within the economic system is inflicting some states akin to Kansas and California to place the brakes on plans to assist extra folks get protection, particularly efforts to develop Medicaid applications that serve low-income residents. In a shock opinion late final week, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberals on the Supreme Court to uphold California and Illinois laws limiting church companies to assist curb the danger of COVID-19 infections. Roberts primarily based his opinion on public well being points. Yet unknown is whether or not this indicators how he would possibly rule on a much bigger case coming to the courtroom within the fall over the destiny of the Affordable Care Act.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Jonathan Oberlander, professor of well being coverage on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and editor of the Journal of Health Policy, Politics and Law. The journal has launched a number of articles analyzing the nexus between COVID-19, well being inequities and social determinants of well being. Those articles are quickly free for the general public to learn, here.

Plus, for further credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume you must learn too:

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “The C.D.C. Waited ‘Its Entire Existence for This Moment.’ What Went Wrong?” by Eric Lipton, Abby Goodnough, Michael D. Shear, Megan Twohey, Apoorva Mandavilli, Sheri Fink and Mark Walker

Joanne Kenen: ProPublica’s “Senior Citizens in Subsidized Housing Have Been Dying Alone at Home, Unnoticed Because of Coronavirus Distancing,” by Mick Dumke and Haru Coryne

Alice Miranda Ollstein: Politico’s “States Brace for Disasters As Pandemic Collides With Hurricane Season,” by Dan Goldberg and Brianna Ehley

Mary Agnes Carey: Kaiser Health News’ “Police Using Rubber Bullets On Protesters That Can Kill, Blind Or Maim For Life,” by Liz Szabo

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

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Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nationwide well being coverage information service. It is an editorially impartial program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which isn’t affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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