For this installment of our pre-election podcast sequence I spoke to Scientific American’s senior medication editor, Josh Fischman.

Steve Mirsky: So Josh, inform me concerning the points in medication and public well being which might be going to be affected by this election. Clearly, the primary one is the coronavirus pandemic.

Josh Fischman: Yeah. COVID is the large one. And it may be affected by this election as a result of we’ve the present Trump administration, which has a file that we will take a look at. And that file is of dealing with the Coronavirus poorly, ignoring a number of public well being recommendation. And the outcomes are sadly apparent to a lot of the nation…we’ve received instances going up in 38 states. And the explanations for this are the administration’s ongoing refusal to develop a sturdy contact tracing pressure, to develop exams and a testing program that can allow public well being authorities to rapidly establish hotspots and isolate individuals…so the 1st step could be to get the virus underneath management. And the Biden marketing campaign truly has introduced a plan to try this by rising the variety of contact tracers, by beginning up a nationwide testing board with the power and the sources to ramp up testing. So at the least we may get a deal with on who’s contaminated, the place infections are spreading quickly. And we’ll be capable of direct sources to isolating that, not letting it unfold. So I feel that that’s the starkest and most necessary distinction.

SM: And let’s discuss simply briefly about all the opposite public well being and medical points which might be just about out of our consciousness proper now due to the pandemic.

JF: You possibly can look again on the final 4 years of budgets that the Trump administration has submitted, and see that yearly they’ve tried to slash the budgets for the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, the Nationwide Science Basis, the Facilities for Illness Management. Now, yearly Congress has countermanded these cuts and truly elevated funding for the Nationwide Institutes of Well being and the opposite companies. However there is a clear distinction in what the Trump administration’s priorities are. They want to carry these budgets down, for causes that they’ve by no means actually articulated besides to say that the federal authorities spends an excessive amount of cash. However it’s onerous to see how spending an excessive amount of cash on well being is basically an excessive amount of cash.

SM: Yeah, as a result of that is not overhead as a lot as it’s an funding.

JF: Precisely. You possibly can see that if you take a look at medical insurance…and when individuals have extra full medical insurance, they can go to the physician, they’re capable of get pharmaceuticals and so they’re capable of stave off severe diseases that find yourself costing the U.S. taxpayer much more.

—Steve Mirsky

(The above textual content is a transcript of this podcast)

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