California discussed on Morning Edition


Here's a look at what's coming up on the California report coming up on the California report ridership on trains subways and buses has plummeted because of the corona virus pandemic and public transportation leaders acknowledge they don't know how to get passengers back I think every large transit agency in this country trying to figure it out the future of public transportation during the pandemic that's coming up on the California reports the California report is nine minutes before six nine minutes before seven and nine minutes before nine each weekday morning coming up on morning edition we're going to find out more about the race for a vaccine for covert nineteen that's straight ahead it's KQED public radio for the latest information and updates about the corona virus you can go to KQED dot org twenty four seven just think we're here for you seven and a half minutes past three it's morning edition from NPR news I'm Steve Inskeep and I'm no well king good morning we're seeing signs of progress in the search for a covert nineteen vaccine and American biotech company moderno says preliminary results show it has a vaccine that is safe that's one step in a small trial eight people developed antibodies to the virus which could make them immune that's another step now in the meantime president trump said yesterday he is taking an anti malarial drug as a preventative measure despite the fact that drug hasn't been proven to work in that particular capacity the frontline workers many many objected it I happened to be taking it I happen to be taken hydroxy darkling when right when several weeks ago study objectives because I think it's what everyone in the stores and if it's not good I'll tell you right I'm not going to get hurt by it it's unfortunate that there's no evidence of high traffic for Quinn can prevent or treat the coronavirus tentatively he is with me now he's an infectious disease doctor he's also a vaccine researcher who leads the ethics program at the university of Vermont Medical Center good morning actually he good morning I want to start with president trump because he really surprised some people yesterday says he's been taking hydroxy Cllr Quinn as a preventive measure what is the scientific consensus on whether or not that is safe the scientific consensus is that we don't know yet whether it helps to fight because in nineteen and we know that it has risks and so I think president trump this is coming to a common misconception that lots of people have which is if it's in an experimental trial it must help me and it can't hurt and that's just not true but could the president be putting himself in danger yes okay okay let's talk about Madonna the company says its initial vaccine trials on the small group of people showed promising results now a lot of people got very excited of the markets shot up yesterday what did you think when you heard about this trial you know I I had mixed emotions about this trial on one hand it's exciting to see some forward motion this is one step on a thousand mile road to finding a vaccine but it's nice to take the first step on the other hand I mean I feel a little worried about all of the hype around this and all of the money swirling around this and it it makes me worry about the quality of science we'll talk about what makes you worried exactly you know so typically if you really wanna have trust double science you release the full information in a published article that's reviewed by peers in this country careful safeguards against problems here this is just a press release from the company without enough detail to really dig your teeth into it so seems like it might be nice but we need to see the details okay so what details are you going to be watching for next what would you like more during a to say or to release publicly so to the question of whether these are you know they really show what the company thinks they show you need to get a sense in detail of what how big were the immune responses that were made and and exactly how safe was the sin did everybody get exactly the same really great immune responses are only some these are the kinds of questions you couldn't get out when you look at the details and they're just not available to us in any trouble on biased way okay so you you want to see the fine print what is modernising that they're going to do next so internet is excited about a couple of things one is they make the argument that TI's interim data make a good argument for them to be able to move forward into a bigger trials and if these data are true then they probably shouldn't move forward it seems you know let's let's have them take the second step is they are going to need to raise some money in order to take those steps and I would imagine that it is no coincidence that they opened up new stocks for trading on the same day as these results were announced and so I would imagine they're also interested in raising money and I always get a little bit worried when scientific results are released in the same breath as a solicitation for funds okay just briefly don't companies want to make money though I'm just I'm just trying to figure out what the concern is yeah I mean it and I think a company that does make a good vaccine should make money that seems great to me but I'd like to see them prove that they have a good staying with trust a little results and then get the money goes to putting out a press release and now I'm trying to get the money before the details are out that is a very fair point let me ask you something that that goes to the question of speed at the trump administration has been pushing to get this done fast and that is understandable operation warp speed we all want to vaccine could doing this faster present any risks and if so what risks are there thank you to think about it is that we should go faster than usual but how we go fast this critically important you can imagine that there are unnecessary delays in the usual vaccine development process that we can skip you know so why wait for a long time in between a phase one to phase trial you should just go there rapidly but if you rush too fast and you don't make sure the details are right if you prioritise money over the quality of science if you don't really carefully watching the safety you could really make a huge mistake okay it sounds like you're saying we all need to read the fine print on a take a deep breath and get the science right and then we'll be OK thank you Jim Leahy is a vaccine researcher at the university of Vermont Medical Center thank you doctor for joining us thanks for having me some parts of the United States government had a fourteen year head start in preparing for the pandemic in the early two thousands several Pentagon simulations envision the effects of a deadly flu strain think of these exercises like war games now people who conducted those exercises are watching them unfold in real life NPR's Hannah lamb reports in early March as the corona virus was spreading across the country Margaret McCarron was in her office at the Pentagon she was drawing up plans to move her stock to teleworking when suddenly she remembered a report she'd written years ago it was called wargaming the flu as I look through it I'm realizing the extent to which it had really identified some of the things that we're living in some of the debates that I was seeing on TV and that was that I'm comfortable moment when you find yourself a little bit living in your own work and starting in two thousand six back when she was at national defense university McAllen launched a series of war games centered on one threat a global pandemic the players were top officials from the government the Pentagon in Congress and in the beginning she says the games were mostly about logistics we had initially seen as almost a sort of an emergency response problems getting the right stuff to the right place in early games participants raise concerns that the health care system would be overwhelmed with there be enough ventilators hospital beds but McAllen says they also had questions about daily life like people's ability to take time off work or having it cleaves would impact their ability to abide by social distancing and the decisions like when you close schools and so forth we come to be important for games don't tell leaders how to respond in a crisis but they do help them figure out the pros and cons of different options I think the board game risk except the players a real officials in charge of national security after the nine eleven attacks wargames about outbreak started popping up at first they involved intentional acts because of bioterrorism but that changed as another threat emerged the centers for disease control says H. one N. one has spread to forty six states H. one N. one avian flu Ebola there is a growing concern about deadly viruses that jump from animals to humans more than one thousand Americans have died and more than twenty thousand have been hospitalized endemic wargames had ominous names global Tempest dark winter Atlantic storm and they didn't end well some teams face catastrophic death tolls and riots in the streets but as the years went on account says the focus shifted pandemic may not of waned in importance but other national security issues sort of crowded attention more the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Qaeda ISIS those threats were visible tangible the corona viruses president trump calls it is the quote invisible enemy but that doesn't mean nobody saw coming I I tell you what I've when we knew the severity of this and I said well here we go again senator Pat Roberts a Republican from Kansas he's been in Congress for years Roberts participated in some of the earliest pandemic wargaming including those McAllen ran through the Senate agriculture committee he's also worked on US responses to real outbreaks we worked on African swine fever at age one and one and then also the avian flu and now are working very hard on cold at night teen so yeah this is not my first rodeo two years after the nine eleven attacks Roberts says there were signs that the government was starting to take the pandemic threat seriously in two thousand five then president George W. bush raised the issue with the national institutes of health but if we wait for a pandemic to appear it will be too late to prepare Roberts was chair of the Senate intelligence committee in those years he says the pandemic threat just didn't stick as a national security priority that's despite years of war gaming and near misses from smaller outbreaks that all suggested the big one was yet to come from time to time there were all these warnings we were trying to get the attention of all the intelligence agencies move this to the top of the line what was the response you're given I really can't get into details what the CIA specifically told us but you could never get it in the top ten Roberts isn't interested in I told you so's he says his focus is the urgent response needed now to protect the food supply chain the new hurdle he says is what he calls a pandemic of politics partisanship making it harder to respond to a public health emergency we will get through it but we could sure do it one hell of a lot better the Pentagon's Margaret McAllen she says there are lessons and limits to working no simulation can prevent a deadly virus from racing across the globe the Macau insists the current pandemic shows the importance of gaining out threats before they become real something she thinks about on a daily basis right now all right he's a weapon down my door knob and picking up delivering groceries and so forth I'm thinking through big picture why am I doing this and you know not just the nuisance factor after all the counts jobs working designer is to get leaders thinking strategically when it comes to action that part's up to them and I'll M. N. P. R. news.

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