Coastal Communities Weigh Health Risks as Public Beaches Open 2020-05-26


It's officially beach season and people along the coasts are hitting the waves. But how safe is fun in the Sun during a pandemic? Don't want people to not enjoy their summers? I walked people fully. Enjoy it but let's just kind of keep some of these things in check and balance it out against some of these other risks that we know are out there. I'm Shumita Basu in for ten Vega and for today on the takeaway Tuesday may twenty six. We take a look at how Kobe nineteen could affect our beach. Time also on the show how Indonesia is handling the coronavirus pandemic Bowie. We are saying is just a steadily growing up relentless curves so it's becoming a real problem for this country then why some medical professionals are running for political office. I think that doctors are sort of rising to the challenge and really asking the question. Why are our voices not being heard but I to beach or not to beach with Memorial Day weekend behind us and the warmer weather into high gear? This would normally be the perfect time to start heading to the beach and while public beaches are beginning to open in many coastal states. Officials are putting a number of restrictions on these spaces due to the pandemic in many areas. Parking lots and public restrooms are closed. Group sizes are limited and stationary activities are discouraged and while images of crowds swarming. Beaches have been singled out as evidence of the danger of keeping them open. During a public health crisis. Beaches are considered a fundamental part of so many communities take. New York's fire island which for decades has been a summer gathering place for LGBTQ PEOPLE. Most businesses there are closed only offering limited service but local leaders are keeping the beaches open and encouraging visitors to enjoy them responsibly. But what exactly does responsible beach behavior look like during pandemic what we're trying to encourage is that we continue to have a stance for observing physical distancing masking as much as possible hand hygiene as much as possible. Those are things that are difficult in the normal seen at each so. I think it's going to be abnormal times when people do go to the beach and try to do it in a socially responsible way. That's Dr Wilbert Chen and adult infectious disease specialist at the University of Maryland. School of Medicine. He's also a member of Maryland. Governor Larry Hogan's Covid Nineteen Response Task Force. I spoke with him to get a sense of how to safely enjoy beaches and other public outdoor spaces. The summer. We've been cooped up with our own families for a period of weeks and months now so it's it's perfectly reasonable to go to the beach with your family. Throw the Frisbee around kick the ball around play in the water but then to introduce additional families again. Up Less is better. There may be different Executive orders or or policies and procedures that are in place so from beach to beach. They there may be a limitation in the group size. And over time those might open up so it might be ten at first it or it might be five at first whatever it is. I certainly want the listener to adhere to those local guidelines and policies but then again just to be in the background. Planning to be responsible. Even if there's an allowance of Twenty people twenty people may not be the best to try to always achieve the Max Numbers. So you know. I think that that's what I want. People to keep in mind is try to balance out those activities with what you think really is necessary. Are there different. Health concerns when you think about going to a public pool verses of Public Beach in instances yes there are of course at the community pool. It's another scene. It's a community meeting place. And so a lot of us bring our young children and they played together and of course. We all have to use the shared facilities. That's the shower or the toilet sinks the Snack Bar. All of those are surfaces that were all contacting and that's very similar to the beach. Actually that's not really very different. Main the pool of course. The pool water is chlorinated. So I I don't think that the pool itself the pool water itself represents a risk and so again we just have to be mindful that When we go to the pool it's probably just a different attitude when we go to the pool just as we have a different attitude to go to the beach. I'll also mentioned that. There are lifeguards. Both at the pool and the beach and the poor lifeguard. Their job is to take on the risk of doing mouth to mouth and CPR for a person in distress. And so again when you have more people that again are introducing that risk to that location. I don't know if those lifeguards are being compensated enough to take on this additional risk of of knowing that they could get it so I just want people again. Let's think about this social responsibility. Am I doing this to my community for my own benefit? Am I doing it in a kind of public space where I'm being responsible personally and demonstrating that behavior? So let's just think about all of these attitudes and try to balance this out. I don't want people to not enjoy their summers. I want people to fully enjoy it. But but let's just kind of keep some of these things in check and balance it out against some of these other risks that we know are out there. I mentioned earlier. That you are on the COVID. Nineteen Response Task Force in Maryland. And as I'm looking at responses and other states and how they're dealing with their beaches it does seem like there is a bit of a patchwork. How much does that start to complicate the work of public health officials? Yes it does make it more complicated and again honestly there are some places in a particular state that might have a different burden of disease which means that some parts of where I'm at in Maryland can open up earlier than other parts. We have a lot of burden of disease in the central corridor of Maryland. And some were not ready to open up their but in western Maryland where it's mountainous and then on the eastern shore where we have the ocean you know. They have low rate so they can open up faster than they than we can't hear in the central corridor so of the worry and concern is that will have transmission just by introduction of people coming from outer lying either states or counties into the you know other counties that have low incident so for example you know some people might have their summer cottages in the mountains or the or at the beach and again. I'm hearing from some of the The local governments and officials. You know we don't want people to come in and bring that this these infections because we don't have a lot of hospitals here we don't have a lot of heads we don't have issues and so to bring that in you. Know brings a another concern for the ability to deliver adequate medical care to their local community and it makes it harder for them. Honestly so you know. The governor has to kind of negotiate all of this and it's his authority to govern from the state level but You know local governments have the authority to govern over their jurisdictions as well. So you know we. We don't want a pit government against government local against state or otherwise. We want to be thoughtful in work together. Dr Wilburton is an adult infectious disease specialist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Thank you very much Dr Chen. It was my pleasure. We're going to stay at the beach just a little longer today and look at Florida and California we're beach. Culture is seen as an essential part of life and efforts to limit access to beaches have been criticized by many residents and county officials. My next two guests have been closely following. How beach openings are going in their respective states. Patricia Mazeikiu is the Miami Bureau chief for The New York Times. Thank you for being here. Patricia My pleasure and Rosanna. Shah is an environment reporter covering the California Coast for the Los Angeles Times. Heidi you Zana. I happy to be on so resent what did beaches in California. Look like over Memorial Day weekend. What's closed what's not. Yeah for the most part folks have been good and you know things got pretty intense for a while but as of last begin every county in along the California Coast Hud at least partial reopenings Some of the parking lots in Los Angeles County were still closed. Were some dramatic photos from places like manage speech in the boardwalk. But for the most part I was talking to local officials yesterday and they said that the crowds were mostly under control. And people really get it that you got up practice safe distancing while you're out on the beach no umbrellas no coolers no woman on the sand with a bunch of friends and the only thing I think police said at least Nellie county was that they wished they saw more people wearing face masks when not in the water. Yeah it was pretty. It was pretty good. You said that things got pretty intense there for a well. What are you referring to? Oh I mean Yeah Beach Access. I mean it's been what like to. I've lost track of time like two months of closures but accidents in general is a very emotional issue in California for listeners. Who aren't in California. We have this pretty unique law that guarantees that all beaches are public access to the coast is a right and I spend so much time usually writing about how this law the coastal act gets enforced. What government agencies are doing to make sure that everyone has equal access to the coast and now with Kovic for the last couple of weeks months? It's been like we're closing all beaches. People were getting ticketed for surfing rather than putting up fence to make your own private beach and that really just has upended. Everyone's relationship to the coast. So I think it was just very emotional issue in California especially at the time when everyone is starting to go to the coast more often and it's getting hotter in Lyndon. Yeah this past weekend was just a really nice respite for a lot of folks and Patricia. You're in Florida. I understand that Miami saw a lot of rainfall over this Memorial Day weekend. What did the beaches look like in Florida? Well Miami and Fort Lauderdale are still places where the beaches are closed other to open on June first so I think at least there was so much rain and the beaches were closed. That right here at the the state southern end it was sort of like okay. Well the weather didn't cooperate anyway But in the rest of the state the beaches were opened with various levels of restrictions in some cases no restrictions and the most crowded areas. Were know the most populous areas so in Tampa they had to start closing parking lots after the authorities deemed them to be two full in Daytona. They had big crowds especially coming in from the Orlando area and they said they saw maybe ten thousand people at the beach there on Saturday. Which was regular Memorial Day numbers not lower than usual according to The police and they said people were social distancing to an extent but they acknowledge that they wish there had been more spacing between people. But the police also said you know. We're not the social distancing police. We are not here to make sure people stay six feet away from each other sort of a matter personal responsibility and they had issues there earlier on during the reopening when they had limited access to exercise so people could not lay down on a toddler bring their umbrella and the beach safety patrol which normally would be sort of welcoming people to the beach and sort of trying to keep them safe had become this sort of social distancing entity where they would have to go to group and say you guys are lingering when you need to be exercising and then as soon as the patrol moved on the group would go back to lying down and not exercising so they sort of gave up on that approach because they realized that it was just not enforceable. And that's really the reason why places like Miami and Fort. Lauderdale have taken this long to open because they have so much coastline in so many people that they said we just can't enforce many rules With expecting rules to come down soon ahead of the June first opening and masks might be part of those in Miami. But we'll see how enforceable that is specially hearing from Zana's experienced in California and Patricia just briefly in about thirty seconds. Rosanna was saying how emotional this is for Californians. Is it similarly emotional for people in Florida? Oh absolutely people who live here tend to have a beach that they consider their beach Because it is where they go with your family on any break that they have And sometimes you sort of just become you forget that you're near the beach and you don't go that often but for a lot of people that is the one free respite that they have outdoors Rosanna. What has California Governor Gavin newsom 's position been on beaches? And how much has he clashed with? localities yeah. There was this one clash a couple of weeks ago with one Specific County Orange County and it was following a weekend. I think it was the first super warm weekend in southern California on April the or it might have been may but you know after seeing the photos. Governor newsom said okay all beaches in Orange County has to be close until every city submits a plan to my office outlining. How exactly you plan on managing crowds. You know that was. There was a push back on a couple. I think at least one city sued on their rates over that. But you know within a week. Every city had submitted plans had improved for a partial you when I say partial reopening limited parking. Lots were opened some hours. You know and look for a while you can only go to the beach from six am to eleven. Am and then during the middle of the day you couldn't go active recreation only so no one could sit down Sunday those mostly for running for surfing for individual kind of active beach activities. But you know for the most part I mean the California coast is one thousand two hundred miles long shots from Boston to Georgia and there are a lot of different beach communities up and down the coast some rural some super urban like Orange County in Los Angeles County so the rules have been different depending on what's needed to prevent overcrowding for the most part. The the governor's office and the Coastal Commission which is the statewide agency. That's usually in charge of regulating. The coastline have deferred to local officials and how to manage beaches and I think the one the clash was the one. Twin Governor is newsom and Orange County and that was just because the localities were not really they were looser. I guess about management and so. That's when the governor kind of put his foot down and Patricia. What about in Florida? How would you characterize Governor Rhonda Santa's approach to beach openings and working with localities? His approach has been to let this be decided at the county and city level. There was never an order to close down all the Florida beaches or any of them the when they closed it was on a county by county basis and usually if a county didn't want to close it was forced to eventually when it's neighboring counties did and they found an influx of people in the county that still open There were some internal debates with local governments. We saw for example in some emails that we obtained in Saint Johns County. Which is where. Saint Augustine is just south of Jacksonville where the medical examiner had been the county administrator police close down the beaches because the county had an unusually high corona virus infection rate and she was a turned away like the county administrator explained his reasons and said we're not doing it but then they eventually did because Jacksonville closed down its beaches. People were just going into Saint Augustine in Naples on the Gulf coast. They had to briefly. Close the beaches after reopening them earlier this month because of the crowds open to them up again and in south Florida which is seen the the bulk of the brunt of the cases in the pandemic it was never really in question that the counties were going to stay closed a little bit longer and even Broward County which is where Fort Lauderdale is wanted to open sooner but knowing that people from Miami might drive up to Fort Lauderdale. They decided to wait until until when Miami made up its mind and then finally the Florida keys have been avoiding having that influx from outsiders by by having a roadblock where only residents can be in the keys and that's going to be lifted in June an who stands to lose access if public facilities on beaches are closed or limited is it mostly residents. Or how much is Florida thinking about tourism? For the summer tourism is a is a big concern especially in communities that rely on people coming down and like renting a house on the beach know vacation rentals have been a real issue they were prohibited a during you know weeks and weeks during the pandemic and finally the governor said you know if you want to allow rentals in your county again and you have to send me a plan on how you're going to safely do that. For example in the panhandle along the Gulf coast where vacation rentals are key to the local tourism economy. They were quick to submit a joint plan and part of the plan for example was that they would not rent to people who were coming from places that high had a high incidence of the virus. So for example if you were coming from New York City. We're not going to be able to rent a house in Pensacola Beach and Rosanna. What about in California if beach parking lots and even the public facilities of public bathrooms stay closed in California this summer. Who Will it impact the most? That is a great question. I mean beach. Closures here have raised interesting Equity Issues. And you know most of the local jurisdictions that have been managing crowds. They've been managing crowds by limiting which parking lots are open or enclosing keeping the bathrooms closed. And all the public facilities and by doing that. What you're essentially doing is creating a situation where those who are fortunate enough to live. Walking or biking distance to the beach can still go and kind of plan for even like a twenty minute. Walk along the beach and then go back to your own home for about for the bathroom or not park but those who live further inland. Who are trapped in heat zones or by freeways or don't even live in enough neighborhoods to walk around the ones who literally plan entire Saturday with the whole family and they talk the van or they take the bus all the way out there and they're the ones that end up not getting any access to the beach during this time and this is an issue that we talk about a lot in California. You know whenever we talk about Knox's issue with specific beach a lot of the time it's nitpicking. How many parking spots are available for that specific beach because parking is such a part of the access component when we talk about allowing folks who don't live by the coast to access the coast so that's been a really challenging issue that I've seen a lot up another ghost? Patricia MS as the Miami Bureau chief for The New York. Times and Rosanna is an environment reporter covering the California Coast for the Los Angeles Times. Thank you so much to both of you. Thank you thank you over the last couple of months. We've been checking in with communities across continents about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting life now. We had over to Indonesia where the number of confirmed cases of covid nineteen has been steadily growing. While cases and other parts of Southeast Asia have been decreasing. We should note though that compared to its population size. The percentage of cases in Indonesia isn't like what we're seeing in the United States but a sharp increase could overwhelm the developing nation one of the largest countries in the World Today. Indonesia reported new daily highs of coronavirus cases and earlier in the month. The government banned domestic travel during one of the largest Muslim holidays of the year. Leedle fitter that just passed this weekend. We go to Tom. Allard the Reuters chief correspondent in Southeast Asia who lives in Indonesia's capital Jakarta to hear more. Hi Tom and welcome to the takeaway. Thank you should make now now. Has there been a rise in new coronavirus cases in Indonesia? Well Indonesia has got a kind of unique coroner infection Profile really at the outset The government was extremely confident that they wouldn't have a problem that will bidding on the the hot weather. They'll braiding on prayer. The Health Minister Spike Very highly of the impact of Chris is to Develop the con of social distancing responses and other measures that we've seen elsewhere in the world but neither the praise work to an extent in that it seems that the we haven't seen as you said in your intro the kind of explosive growth that we seen in the US and perhaps the hot weather is out of that. Run that But we are saying is just a steadily growing outward relentless curve so they are It's becoming a real problem for this country because You know they don't have the money that on the hospital system to cut with a major outbreak and already because of the somewhat belated measures to Restrict travel to Implement social distancing so many people of lost their jobs. We're talking maybe. I think we'll talking about thirty percent of people. Were on social welfare now. Seventy percent so the the government said we're GONNA run out of money at the end of July We can't continue so they've got a real dilemma here because I want to kick start the economy. But at the same time the current of ours fiction just catch rausing their concerns that the Indonesian government isn't telling the truth about the virus or reporting cases accurately. Yeah it's it's a big problem in the president of Indonesia in in mid March Rather frankly in Amazingly said look with withholding information from the public. We don't WanNA panic and that that if you think about public health crisis is probably what you don't side because it created a lot of Anxiety and questions about what exactly the government is telling it and To be sure the government has been reluctant to provide some very critical data. That epidemiologist want here in terms of suspected cases who have which are enormous and And the true number of deaths and underlying. This dilemma is that Indonesia has one of the lowest testing writes in in in the world. Something like a hundred and fifty people per million have been tested thus far so It's extremely lies so everyone is In the dark and that's created a faded glory as I said of anxiety poppulation town. Despite the recent rise in cases the government opened up domestic travel after it had restricted it about three weeks ago. Why the reversal? Well I mean simply put one of race. Stop the economy. And they say this is a as a measure. The way that they're trying to Against Ameliorate the negative effects that would have on. The coronavirus is sprayed to force everyone to wear masks. And to enforce social distancing and that type of thing but You know the jury is out. Shall we say With that's going to be a successful strategy. I mean as you mentioned early. It's it'll fishery at the moment and that's a great occasion. Full must into nations. It's the biggest Muslim country in the world. Majority country in the world and everyone returns home to their villages for Foot to celebrate this occasion with family and friends this past weekend right. It was tomorrow Dan. That's rod and finished literally finish yesterday that so the government extensively band music but that was the official policy but as you SI- began to open flights up and basically a lot of people left anyway and so despite all Pleading from the government to stay at home to do video conferencing or whatever to communicate with the families a lot of Time and we send a lot of images of huge crowds gathering to pray together to chance to chant llahu Akbar and the the fear. Is that down. The line in the next couple awakes is GONNA lead to a another surge in corona virus infections earlier you alluded to Indonesia's healthcare system not being well equipped to handle a surge in new cases. Can you describe a little bit? How the healthcare system there works. Yeah well look. It's it's never been a priority for the Indonesian government. They've begun to throw a lot of money into infrastructure to a lesser extent education but health is always down the bottom of the label satisfied. So you're talking about full hospital beds. Per Ten thousand people in Indonesia is the that's probably ten times less than most developed countries in the world. So if the coronavirus right of infection continues to climb you're gonNA find a lot of That the hospitals will become quickly as a wellness. I mean we're talking here. It's country of two hundred sixty four two hundred and seventy million play. I ask ventilators and that includes ventilators for Premature babies which I'm not sure can be brutally utilized full room for adult coronavirus infection suffer so They're in a very precarious state. Should the infection right? Continue to climb and they're doing. There's all sorts of measures. They are trying to build their own corona virus as their own in light. Issa coronavirus suffers And that's being mobilize some. Maybe that will come to the rescue and thankfully given that it has been a relatively slow steady. Climb that probably gives the government upbeat more braving spice to get all that give but We shall say but the other problem is as I said with all these people returning to their villages. This was a pandemic or an epidemic that started in in the capital city Jakarta but it has quickly spread to every corner of Indonesia. They're infections in every province in most most regencies. So it's in those outlying areas with a hospital system is particularly wake particularly vulnerable sheep. Things get worse Tom. Allard is the Reuters. Chief correspondent in Southeast Asia. Tom Thank you very much for joining us. My position me covid. Nineteen has given us all a newfound appreciation for healthcare workers across the country. People hold nightly cheers and on social media. Healthcare workers are held up as Heroes. But could that kind of enthusiasm translate into votes for to doctors and Oregon? It already has Dr Maxine. Dexter won her primary for State House Representative District Thirty Three. And this is Dr Lisa Reynolds who claimed victory in district. Thirty six one of the reasons I won this race is because others agreed that this is an important time to have politicians who have deep background in healthcare in virology and in vaccine science the acknowledgement that we need physicians and scientists during this unprecedented time in our history really won the day to find out more about how having healthcare workers in office might be beneficial during the current pandemic. I spoke with Dr Christine. Eighty man a family practice physician in Cedar Park Texas and a Congressional candidate in Texas district. Thirty one I also spoke with Dr High some Gailey a family medicine doctor and psychiatrist and the founder of doctors in politics in organization that supports doctors running for Congress. I I asked Dr. Eighty man about her experience treating patients with covid nineteen in Texas. It started out very disconcerting. The federal response to this pandemic was so disjointed that we on the ground really had no great direction about what we should be doing and how we should be handling these questions and these cases as they came in and and so we were left struggling to have a algorithm and a and a method for taking care of people and answering questions and that lasted for several weeks and then we started seeing people coming in for testing and now we just kind of roll with the punches as things change and take care of people as they need to be taken care of. And I understand that you decided to run for Congress in Texas before this pandemic but how has living and working through this experience? Change the stakes for you. It's really been a a motivator to complete this campaign and win because the covid nineteen experiences exposing the terrible disparities. We haven't healthcare the holes that we have in people being able to access the care that they need and underrepresented communities are disproportionately being affected. And we've known that about medicine in general but this just highlights how bad and how profound it really is an Heison for you. You're working in a psychiatric ward in New York. I understand what have the past few months been like for you? Yeah I think it's been a real Over the past couple of months we've really seen mental health issues amplified in the midst of this pandemic. I think what we're seeing now is general level of anxiety across the population. We're seeing an increase in suicidality in patients. Were coming in to the hospital. A lot sicker. I WanNa know both of your thoughts on this but maybe Christine. Can you start? What policy change would make your work during this pandemic better or more effective? The first thing is is that we need universal access to healthcare. We have a situation right now where millions of Americans do not have access to the care that they need. We know that that's been that way forever. And so the number one policy change would be to ensure that every American has access to healthcare from birth to death without exceptions for job loss or for pre existing conditions or for any other reason. So that's what I've been fighting for four about twelve years. I started speaking out about that long before I was a candidate for Congress but it is one of my main platform positions as I go through this cycle and high somewhat about for you and your work that you're doing right now. Have you been thinking? About what structural policy changes would actually make a big difference in how you're able to deliver your services. Yeah I think that we need to be having the conversation about healthcare and not health insurance and we really need to create a system that has nothing to do with the business of medicine but focuses on being devoted to patients in restoring the human of medicine that sort of been eroded over the past several years Christine. What is the value? Do you think of having doctors serving in these elected rules. Well there's a couple of things first of all just from the policy writing piece of it. There's no substitute for decades of experience in medicine when it comes to helping others in Congress and in legislative bodies to understand the healthcare system my experiences through the years of practice can't be duplicated by just a booklet that campaign aide or a legislative aide puts together for you when you're going into these negotiations bringing that firsthand experience is critical and crystal and I think the other thing is that we are seeing more and more doctors who are not only cognizant of social determinants of Health but oh are recognizing that politics impacts those social determinants of health and right now it's to the detriment of our patients and it is giving us a voice to say gun laws affect our patients. Healthcare policy affects our patients disparities between mental health and physical health affect our patients. Systemic racism affects our patients all of these social determinants of health impact our practices and we are at the point. More and more where we're saying we want to do something about that. You know a couple of years ago. I'm recalling when the National Rifle Association spoke out and this was sometime after a major mass shooting and a number of doctors and medical professionals had been speaking out and and saying that it was time to introduce some gun legislation and the National Rifle Association said. At the time that those anti-gun doctors should quote. Stay in their lane in other words. Stay politically neutral. Stick to what they know. Stick to medicine and I remember. A lot of doctors pushed back against that high. Some do you feel the pressure to leave politics out of your work. Yeah I think there's always a pressure in our training to remain a political as possible but I think what we're learning is healthcare isn't just about delivering healthcare now. It's also about economics and politics. People are making political decisions that directly impact our interactions with patients in the room. We are seeing the effects of legislation on people and how they have to navigate their lives to try to live a life of dignity and quality despite people not really understanding how the laws are impacting them. I think that there is really this. Huge push right for doctors to get involved to get political to flip the narrative so that we can actually do what's best for our patients as opposed to The present system high some. I understand that you ran for city council in Seattle in two thousand seventeen and now of course you're helping others who want to run for office through your organization doctors and politics. Have you seen more of an interest and urgency among medical doctors and entering politics since the pandemic began? Yeah I think that. There truly is an urgency now for doctors to be at the table. I think what is really clear? Is that The leadership that is coming from the government in from medical bodies that are supposed to represent us. Hospital organizations are just not putting people first And that disconnect is really leading to poor outcomes and so I think that doctors are sort of rising to the challenge and really asking the question is why our voices not being heard and since we are experts in this field can look at data and make decisions we should actively be involved in how healthcare is restructured in this country in two thousand eighteen. We did see this wave of women candidates running for office across the country. We saw a wave of candidates coming from stem fields with non-political backgrounds. For the most part. How do you think these candidates from medical backgrounds might fair in the polls this November? Yeah I think that we saw really a surge of women and stem candidates in two thousand eighteen and I think appropriately so I think that the American people want something different they want people who represent them and care about their vested interests. I think that our candidates that are running in twenty twenty they come from very different backgrounds are all really interested in pushing a narrative of putting patients first and restoring the human factor of Medicine. Back into healthcare. I will tell you that we had two doctors one their democratic primaries in Oregon so I think that just speaks to the idea that doctors are respected members of the community and I think that this is a group of people who is untapped and has a great potential for making a difference in a legislative body high. So maybe you can talk about this. How do you think doctors elected officials would maybe help message to the public and bridge? Sort of a gap of understanding. I'm thinking that part of what some people in this country struggling with right now in terms of this pandemic is understanding the scientific information around covid. Nineteen what what do you think might change? If there were more doctors and elected roles. I think that what we are seeing is that they're really good at messaging. Complicated ideas in simple terms so that patients can understand it. We do it every day. When we talk about chronic illnesses that people suffer from and this is no different. I think that we as doctors can take complicated legislation. Explain it to people in a meaningful way. That is digestible and understandable And so I really think that doctors have a very unique perspective. We are not paid to be adversarial. We are collaborative in our natures. And so I think that is really a strength that Congress is really lacking at this time. Christine. I wonder what your thoughts are on how you've watched the relationship and dynamic play out between Dr. Anthony vouches the head of the White House. Coronavirus Task Force and the President. Himself President Trump. What has watching that relationship made you think about doctors and medical professionals and politicians. It has been a Yoyo between being so thankful that he is there to push back against some of the narratives that the president is putting out there versus days. Where I just want to yell. Because he's not pushing back as vigorously as I would hope that he would and quite frankly I feel like he is walking a tight rope as best he can that he recognizes that his voice at that level is one hundred percent necessary that there is no one else who is going to do what he is doing and that he is doing everything he can to keep this ship going in some fashion in the correct direction knowing that the president is going to override him at every turn it is an opportunity though for someone to at least be speaking out when he's able to against some of the things and the theories and the false information that the president is giving. And how do you yourself think about having to potentially walk those kinds of lines and make those political decisions in this political messaging sorts of decisions. And do you see them as being in opposition or in conflict with some of your training and your medical background? I would only be in conflict with my medical background and my training if I didn't speak the truth and if I didn't speak using evidence and I am not worried about that. Conflict at all as high some was mentioning. We have a daily job where we have to convince people to do things that they may not agree with. That they may not think is correct that they don't understand what the importance is and my job as a doctor is to convince people to do things that they don't want to do. And that is a skill set that I have home over twenty years and I'm ready to use that same skillset to convince people who do not agree with me legislatively about why they should do what I'm asking them to do. In two thousand eighteen. The trump administration disbanded the pandemic response team. And some critics have said that. That's part of the reason why we are not as well prepared as we should be for this current crisis Christine. What do you think needs to change for the US to be more prepared for a crisis like this in the future? Well there's no question that the pandemic response team needs to be put back together. It will help us some with this current crisis although we are so far down the road right now that we are going to have a real challenge in managing how this pandemic plays out but there is no question that we should have scientific experts available. And what a lot of people don't understand about pandemic response teams is that their work is ongoing. They continuously search their colleagues their connections throughout the world for issues that may break out into the public disease hotspots and they came out how to address those issues. They make sure that we have stockpiles of necessary medical supplies. They understand how to move those supplies from location to location within the United States. This is not a passive team that only jumps into action. When there is an actual crisis they are constantly working to make sure that we are prepared and the idea that that response team was disbanded in twenty. Eighteen is just a boron and it needs to be fixed. Dr Christine Eadie man is a family practice physician in Cedar Park Texas and she's a congressional candidate in Texas district thirty one and Dr Haisam Gaily is a family medicine doctor and a psychiatrist and founder of doctors in politics. Thank you both of you so much for being here and coming back to our top story on beaches. We want to hear from you if you were at the beach this weekend. Tell us what it was like. Was it hard to follow new guidelines? Eight seven seven eight. My take is our number or you can send us a tweet at the take way you can also tweet at me at Shoe Tzu S H U B A S U. Thanks so much for listening. I'm Shumita Basu in for Tanzania Vega and this is the takeaway see you tomorrow.

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