Inside Bidens COVID Team

Slate's If Then


Five years ago the virus that was in news mostly in west africa but occasionally here in the. Us was ebola. It was a frightening time. Ebola caused fevers hemorrhaging and had an average fatality rate of fifty percent and it was during that outbreak that i had dinner with journalist. I know and i met his wife. Dr selene gowned her. Selene is an infectious disease expert. And she'd been doing volunteer work in guinea and i was really struck by how unflappable she seemed. Even though we were talking about this terrifying disease the reason i was not scared with. The bolla is because i was going with an american aid organisation. I knew we were going to have the personal protective equipment. We needed and i knew how ebola was transmitted. So i knew that as long as i was careful that it was relatively within my control. That kind of control. She's talking about has been hard to come by in her work. On the corona virus booth in terms of how easily this virus spreads and also what she can do to protect yourself. I work at bellevue hospital. In new york ac- patients there and we have been in rationing mode since the spring. You have to go to this. Window show your. Id they give you three and ninety five masks for the week you know so. That's being rationed. I've been using in in november. Yeah yeah and. I have been using the same face shield since march. I just wipe it down at the end of every day and put it in a paper bag in my locker the fact that we have allowed ourselves to get to that point in this country is just unacceptable this week and this point in the pandemic feel particularly fraught cases are exploding. Holidays are looming effective vaccine seemed to be on the horizon. But aren't here yet and selene is in the middle of it. All not just as doctor but as a member of the biden. Administration's corona virus advisory board a group of thirteen people whose ideas and expertise will shape how the incoming administration response to covid nineteen. Does the weight of being on this task force at a level of of i dunno fear or responsibility for you to me. It's it's empowering to be included in a group like this. It's a huge honor and privilege but it also makes me feel like i can do something about it. You know all of the scientists who have been studying this who have great ideas about how we can use the new knowledge and tools that we have to control the virus. I can help that into policy and action. Selena's looking forward to gaining some control over the virus on a personal level and national one but of course none of that can happen yet. The transition is still in limbo. I am really worried about the next two months really about what's going to happen because we are not being given the information we need which means that that will slow us down even come january twentieth and i really do think a lot of people are gonna die as a result of these delays

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