Powerful praise for health workers’ courage

2 minute read

Science Translational Medicine is the latest journal to condemn the US government response to the pandemic.

Welcome to The Medical Republic’s COVID Catch-Up.

It’s the day’s COVID-19 news in one convenient post. Email bianca@biancanogrady.com with any tips, comments or feedback.

20 October

  • A powerful editorial in Science Translational Medicine has praised healthcare workers not only for courage in the face of fear during the pandemic, but also for standing up against misinformation about COVID-19.
    “Colleagues, we are in a battle for our lives in medicine, a battle science will eventually win,” wrote the editorial’s authors. “Courage is evident in the lone physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in small towns who are diagnosing patients with COVID-19 and have very few resources to fall back on; we see courage in spades in every shift in every emergency room and intensive care unit across the country.”
    The editorial also makes some pointed comments about the lack of leadership from physicians operating within the US government, saying they have allowed the suppression and manipulation of data, and unscientific and dangerous initiatives.
    “We understand the challenge: To speak out will probably cost you your job,” they wrote. “But is it worth going down in history as someone who kept quiet and did not speak out against what they knew was wrong?”
  • Meanwhile, an editorial in the BMJ has called for greater honesty about the uncertainties – or the ‘known unknowns’ – of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Acknowledging uncertainty a little more might improve not only the atmosphere of the debate and the science, but also public trust,” the authors wrote. “If we publicly bet the reputational ranch on one answer, how open minded can we be when the evidence changes?”
    For example, they highlighted the need to better convey the uncertainty in infectious disease models, and criticised ‘armchair epidemiologists’ with the ability to “fully assimilate and transcend within weeks what infectious disease specialists have learnt over decades.”
    “When deciding whom to listen to in the covid-19 era, we should respect those who respect uncertainty, and listen in particular to those who acknowledge conflicting evidence on even their most strongly held views.”
  • Here are the latest confirmed COVID-19 infection numbers from around Australia, to 9pm Monday:
    National – 27,399, with 905 deaths
    ACT – 113 (0)
    NSW – 4342 (4)
    NT – 33 (0)
    QLD – 1164 (0)
    SA – 484 (1)
    TAS – 230 (0)
    VIC – 20,319 (4)
    WA – 714 (0)

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