Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 epidemic drags on with no end in sight, the U.S. economy in tatters, and “reopening” going haltingly, many observers have come to the realization that we might need to learn to “live with the virus”—meaning with ongoing new infections—until a vaccine is available. Thus, there is an understandable hunger for one, and some 95 vaccines to prevent COVID-19 are now in various stages of development. Some of the reports of progress on this front have been encouraging, and there is...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Andrew I. Fillat ‘Metadata” might sound like something that “Star Trek‘s” Spock would oversee, but it is real and increasingly familiar, as the result of stories about wiretaps and security. The easiest-to-understand example of it is information about the time, duration, originating number, and destination number of a phone call – but without any of the content (i.e. words spoken) of the call. Metadata might also indicate from its format that a field on a...

Listen to Dr. Henry Miller, PRI senior fellow in health studies, discuss the move by the WHO to pause hydroxychloroquine trials for Coronavirus treatment on the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show. TheLarsLarsonShow · Dr. Henry Miller - WHO pauses hydroxychloroquine trials for Coronavirus treatment...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Andrew I. Fillat Every day seems to bring some new, unexpected, unpleasant revelation about the SARS-CoV-2 and the illness it causes, COVID-19. The infection has a long, often asymptomatic incubation period, high transmissibility, the ability to infect many human tissues, and, frequently, rapid deterioration of the clinical course. Some curious aspects of the infection, such as long duration of symptoms, multi-organ involvement, blood clots, and patients’ ability to tolerate extremely low blood oxygen levels have...

America is in a state of collective angst, one that hasn't been seen since perhaps the Second World War. Every crisis since then, whether it was war, the 9/11 attacks, flu pandemics, or financial meltdown, had left most Americans unaffected. But now, few are economically, medically, or emotionally untouched. The SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, pose threats or extreme inconvenience of one sort or another to virtually everyone. In a crisis like this, driven by health (and the...

A COVID-19 Vaccine by January? Here’s Why It’s Possible But Not Likely By Christopher Curley The timeline to develop a safe, effective vaccine to fight a virus is typically counted in years — or even decades. But with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting millions around the world and killing hundreds of thousands of people, the race is on to produce a vaccine faster than ever before. President Donald Trump has said a vaccine could be available by January, which would be an unprecedented development cycle. But how realistic is that? Experts...

As the COVID-19 epidemic drags on with no end in sight, the U.S. economy in tatters, and “reopening” going haltingly, many observers have come to the realization that we might need to learn to “live with the virus”—meaning with ongoing new infections—until a vaccine is available. Expecting a coronavirus vaccine in the near future may be the triumph of hope over experience. Thus, there is an understandable hunger for one, and some 95 vaccines to prevent COVID-19 are now in various stages...

It is expected that any day now, the White House will release an executive order requiring certain drugs to be manufactured in the United States. It's part of a wider push by both the administration and Congress to force the federal government to buy more American-made goods and reduce reliance on countries like China. This push is misguided. The administration's "Buy America" agenda would derail our response to COVID-19 and could have long-lasting negative consequences for our economy. The best way to maintain efficient, high-quality production of drugs and other medical equipment is...

On a recent episode of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," White House adviser and trade hawk Peter Navarro observed that the Chinese government had not been forthcoming from the get-go about the potential for COVID-19 to become a global pandemic. He postulated that the original spread of the virus could have been blocked and the pandemic contained completely – if China had really wanted that to happen. Navarro went on to suggest that the virus originated from a bioweapons lab, and...

Perhaps not since the Second World War has there been so much fear, anxiety, misery, and grief in this country. Many people are finding some measure of comfort by turning inward and using what amounts to a biological trick. How many times have you heard someone say to a person who is angry and agitated, “Hey, take a few deep breaths and chill.” Well, it works, and the reason has a physiological explanation. As does the popularity of the “mindfulness” phenomenon, which...

There they go again. In the midst of the race for an effective COVID-19 treatment the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has performed an incomplete analysis of remdesivir in order to produce a cost estimate that is, by definition, precisely wrong. Remdesivir, produced by Gilead Sciences Inc., is an experimental antiviral medication that did not work as hoped to treat Hepatitis C, but is showing promise as a treatment for viruses such as SARS and COVID-19. If ICER’s analysis were...

While many heroic doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are working long hours and risking their lives to treat COVID-19 patients, others have seen their workloads and hospital occupancy rates drop dramatically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This has created a financial crisis and endangered public health. At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, public health officials urged hospitals to suspend non-essential medical procedures. U.S. hospitals canceled tens of thousands of elective surgeries and other procedures, and urged...

By Andrew I. Fillat and Henry I. Miller The headline, of course, is an aphorism dating from 1862 that was popularized by the charming 1992 Tom Hanks film, “Forrest Gump.” Stupid may be an innate characteristic, but dumbness is certainly an opportunity available to all. It can be especially surprising and sometimes infuriating when a person not thought to be stupid does some really dumb things. Back in college at our fraternity, we had an “award” for pledges who said or did dumb...

Forcing a restructuring of the current pharmaceutical supply chain is a terrible idea. Yet, as a recent Wall Street Journal editorial exemplifies, there is growing support for this ill-considered policy. And, these proposals are not simply mere academic musings. The Trump Administration may implement an Executive Order that would turn this idea into actual policy. Congress, not to be outdone, is also considering several proposals that would force federal agencies to purchase drugs and medical supplies exclusively from U.S. suppliers. If implemented, these “Buy...

On ‘Supply-Chain Repatriation,’ It’s Buyer (and Nation) Beware By Scott Lincicome One of the most fashionable COVID-19 proposals being circulated by Washington politicians and pundits these days is the “repatriating” of global supply chains for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and “personal protective equipment” that have been “outsourced” over the past three decades, leaving America utterly dependent on foreign countries, especially China, for these essential products. Bringing that manufacturing back home, so the story goes, is the only way to ensure future “resiliency” in...

PRI President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Studies Sally C. Pipes joins PRI's Next Round podcast to discuss some of the health care challenges that have popped up during the coronavirus crisis, including a renewed push for single-payer and calls for prescription drug price controls and a “Buy America” mandate for drug manufacturing. We also discuss a few positives changes that have occurred despite these tough times – the rise of telehealth and the rolling back...

Dr. Henry Miller joins the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show to debate shelter-in-place rollbacks by states and European countries and why it could be too early. Miller and Larson also debate the approaches of other countries and how their infection and death rate compare to the United States. Dr. Miller's segment begins at the 47:00 minute mark.  Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars Larson National Podcast 04-21-20...