On the front lines of Europe’s surging 2nd COVID crisis: Reporter’s Notebook

I’ve just left the intensive care unit of a hospital in Liege, Belgium. It’s impossible to know of course, but this is quite possibly the epicenter of Europe’s new coronavirus crisis.



a person standing in front of a refrigerator: A health worker standing in an intensive care unit treats a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.


© Yves Herman/Reuters
A health worker standing in an intensive care unit treats a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.

The city of about 200,000 residents nestled in eastern Belgium is at around a 41% infection rate, and the hospital is at full capacity. Intensive care unit numbers have tripled in three weeks. Belgium, which had 100 to 200 cases per day throughout June and early July, is now marking north of 10,000. On Oct. 25, it set a daily record with 17,709.

We stood outside one room — which patients are now forced to share due to overcrowding — to hear the groans of an elderly man who was just admitted. As doctors and nurses attended to him another ambulance swept up outside the window with another case.

MORE: Europe struggling with 2nd surge of COVID-19 case, and it may be worse than the 1st

The doctor guiding us on a tour admitted a chilling fact: health workers here (including himself) are now treating patients knowing they themselves have COVID-19.



a group of people standing in a room: Health workers take care of patients suffering from the coronavirus disease in a recovery room of an operating theatre transformed for COVID-19 patients, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.


© Yves Herman/Reuters
Health workers take care of patients suffering from the coronavirus disease in a recovery room of an operating theatre transformed for COVID-19 patients, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.



a person taking a selfie in a room: A health worker looks on in a recovery room of an operating theatre transformed for patients suffering the coronavirus disease, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.


© Yves Herman/Reuters
A health worker looks on in a recovery room of an operating theatre transformed for patients suffering the coronavirus disease, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.

Gallery: These States Just Broke Grim COVID Records (ETNT Health)

It’s an ethical dilemma, but not a choice this doctor could make. He now tests negative, but he said if he and others like him do not continue working, the health system here would go under. The toll on health workers, already exhausted from the first wave, about to be exacerbated by the second.

Why is it so bad? COVID fatigue, he says. Belgium relaxed the measures that had kept the country safe and now are going to pay a price. Lots of testing, yes. But not so much tracing.

MORE: Further restrictions, curfews imposed in Europe as continent fights ‘second wave’ of coronavirus cases

But they have learned some important lessons from the first wave.



A health worker picks up utensils in a recovery room of an operating theatre transformed for patients suffering the coronavirus disease, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.


© Yves Herman/Reuters
A health worker picks up utensils in a recovery room of an operating theatre transformed for patients suffering the coronavirus disease, at Montlegia CHC clinic in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 29, 2020.



a close up of a woman: A woman takes part in a demonstration at the hospital MontLegia, in Liege, gathering employees, and called by the Belgian trade union National Center of Employees, on Oct. 29, 2020 as the country faces a second wave of infections from COVID-19.


© John Thys/AFP via Getty Images
A woman takes part in a demonstration at the hospital MontLegia, in Liege, gathering employees, and called by the Belgian trade union National Center of Employees, on Oct. 29, 2020 as the country faces a second wave of infections from COVID-19.

We came across Florent, a 75-year-old man in the ICU who said

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40 Dead, Now 40 Laid Off: Inside a Nursing Home in Crisis

When the state closed down swimming pools, his job at Clove Lakes became the couple’s only source of income. Staying home was no longer an option.

“When I came back, the supervisors and directors were staying in the home all night, and asking anyone to take extra shifts. Usually I don’t do that, but I volunteered because I knew that was going to happen anyway.” At home, he feared carrying the virus to his girlfriend’s mother and aunt, who lived in the same house, so he would strip his clothes and put them in the washer every time he returned.

At Clove Lakes, the virus shut down all of their ordinary activities, changing the relationships between the workers and the residents. The administration worked to get masks, gowns and other protective equipment, which many homes lacked. “We were wearing hazmat suits,” Mr. McArthur said, adding that it felt like being in a sauna. “I lost a lot of pounds. So I didn’t catch the quarantine weight like everybody else did.”

The emotional stress was unrelenting, he said. Once employees reported to the Covid unit, they could not leave or see other colleagues until the day’s end. Residents, especially those with dementia, often did not understand why their relatives were not visiting, why they could not leave their rooms and be with their neighbors for meals or activities.

“The worst was when you had to tell them they had to go back in their room, because the resident in the next room passed away, and you have to put them in a body bag,” Mr. McArthur said.

“One day you’ll see an ambulette come in and haul someone out and they’ll never come back,” Mr. McArthur said. “It is the worst experience to have.” Each death took a toll on the staff, but there was no time to grieve, he said. “You develop chemistry with someone, and it’s like they’re part of the family or a close friend. And we are all they have sometimes, especially after they stopped having visitors.”

The home did not provide counselors to help the staff deal with stress, but directed them to a hotline set up by the state office of mental health, Ms. Senk, the administrator, said.

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In A Small Pennsylvania City, A Mental Crisis Call To 911 Turns Tragic : Shots

Rulennis Munoz (center right) outside Lancaster Courthouse Oct. 14, after learning that the police officer who fatally shot her brother had been cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Lancaster County District Attorney. Her mother, Miguelina Peña, and her attorney Michael Perna (far right) stood by.

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Rulennis Muñoz remembers the phone ringing on Sept. 13. Her mother was calling from the car, frustrated. Rulennis could also hear her brother Ricardo shouting in the background. Her mom told her that Ricardo, who was 27, wouldn’t take his medication. He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia five years earlier.

Ricardo lived with his mother in Lancaster, Pa., but earlier that day he had been over at Rulennis’ house across town. Rulennis remembers that her brother had been having what she calls “an episode” that morning. Ricardo had become agitated because his phone charger was missing. When she found it for him, he insisted it wasn’t the same one.

Rulennis knew that her brother was in crisis and that he needed psychiatric care. But she also knew from experience that there were few emergency resources available for Ricardo unless a judge deemed him a threat to himself or others.

After talking with her mom, Rulennis called a county crisis intervention line to see if Ricardo could be committed for inpatient care. It was Sunday afternoon. The crisis worker told her to call the police to see if the officers could petition a judge to force Ricardo to go to the hospital for psychiatric treatment, in what’s called an involuntary commitment. Reluctant to call 911, and wanting more information, Rulennis dialed the non-emergency police number.

Meanwhile, her mother, Miguelina Peña, was back in her own neighborhood. Her other daughter, Deborah, lived only a few doors down. Peña started telling Deborah what was going on. Ricardo was becoming aggressive; he had punched the inside of the car. Back on their block, he was still yelling and upset, and couldn’t be calmed. Deborah called 911 to get help for Ricardo. She didn’t know that her sister was trying the non-emergency line.

The problems and perils of calling 911 for help with mental health

A recording and transcript of the 911 call show that the dispatcher gave Deborah three options: police, fire or ambulance. Deborah wasn’t sure, so she said “police.” Then she went on to explain that Ricardo was being aggressive, had a mental illness and needed to go to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Ricardo had moved on, walking up the street to where he and his mother lived. When the dispatcher questioned Deborah further, she also mentioned that Ricardo was trying “to break into” his mom’s house. She didn’t mention that Ricardo also lived in that house. She did mention that her mother “was afraid” to go back home with him.

The Muñoz family has since emphasized that Ricardo was never a threat to them. However, by the time police got the message, they believed they were responding to

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Wisconsin facing ‘urgent crisis’ as cases rise

Wisconsin’s governor on Tuesday warned of an impending crisis as the state continues to see coronavirus cases rise and its hospitals overwhelmed.



a boy wearing a hat: Nyasia Camara, medical assistant, checks in a person for a COVID-19 test at the drive-thru testing site at Mercy Health Anderson Hospital, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. You must have an ID. They're open from 8am - 1pm and do about 70 tests each day. Over 5,000 deaths in Ohio have been reported during the pandemic, according to Ohio Department of Health.  Testing Political Signs Scenes For Wwlt


© Liz Dufour/The Enquirer/Imagn/USA Today
Nyasia Camara, medical assistant, checks in a person for a COVID-19 test at the drive-thru testing site at Mercy Health Anderson Hospital, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. You must have an ID. They’re open from 8am – 1pm and do about 70 tests each day. Over 5,000 deaths in Ohio have been reported during the pandemic, according to Ohio Department of Health. Testing Political Signs Scenes For Wwlt

“There is no way to sugarcoat it, we are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk to you and your family,” Gov. Tony Evers said.

Hospital beds in the state are 84% full, as well as 87% of intensive care unit beds, according to state data, as hospitalizations continue to escalate.

The state opened a hospital facility at the state fair grounds October 14, and five patients have been cared for there as of Tuesday.

More than 5,000 confirmed cases were reported in Wisconsin as of Tuesday, bringing the total number there to more than 200,000 — a “tragic” and “concerning” milestone, Evers said. The state’s death toll rose by 64 Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,852.

“The increasing cases, and our increase in deaths today are the largest single day increases we’ve seen throughout the course of this pandemic,” said Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services. “We must take significant and collective action.”

The state’s seven-day average of new cases has increased by more than 400%, Palm said. It took seven months for cases to reach 100,000 there, and only 36 days to hit 200,000 Evers said.

Evers’ warning comes as nearly half a million Americans tested positive for Covid-19 in just the last week as a fall surge of the contagious virus claws its way into every region of the country.

More than 8.7 million in US infected since pandemic began

The past seven days have been marked by daunting coronavirus records and upticks, with 489,769 new cases reported since October 20.

In the US, more than 8.7 million people have now been infected since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The fall resurgence has led some local and state officials to rein in their reopening plans, as hospitalization numbers increase and states report case records. Still, public fatigue and political unwillingness to require masks and restrict gatherings — exemplified by the White House chief of staff’s frank admission that “we are not going to control the pandemic” — suggest worse days to come.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday that the US was at a tipping point, where aggressive action could stem the worst of the pandemic.

“But we’re not going to do that and I understand why. There’s a lot of fatigue set in and a lot of policy resistance

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Covid-positive health workers asked to keep working as crisis worsens

Health workers in some hospitals in Liege, Belgium’s third largest city and a coronavirus hotspot, have been asked to continue working even if they test positive for Covid-19 — as long as they are not showing any symptoms of the disease.



a bus that is parked on the side of a road: An ambulance is seen at the hospital CHC Montlegia in Liege, Belgium, on Friday 23 October 2020.


© Bruno Fahy/Belga Mag/AFP/Getty Images
An ambulance is seen at the hospital CHC Montlegia in Liege, Belgium, on Friday 23 October 2020.

Top health official have warned that Belgium could run out of intensive care beds in as little as two weeks and some hospitals are facing staff shortages. The country of 11.5 million people has reported on average more than 13,000 cases a day in the past week, according to the national public health institute Sciensano. The Covid-19 outbreak in Belgium is the second worst in Europe in terms of new cases per capita, after only the Czech Republic.

Yves Van Laethem, Belgium’s spokesperson for the fight against the coronavirus, warned that unless Belgians change their behavior, intensive care units will reach their capacity of 2,000 patients in 15 days.

Liege, the largest city in the French-speaking Wallonia region, has the highest incidence rate in Belgium. Tje communications director of Liege University Hospital, Louis Maraite, told CNN on Tuesday that because of staff shortages, the hospital had “no choice” but to make doctors and nurses who tested positive but have no symptoms come to work.

“This is not a problem as they are working in coronavirus units with patients who also tested positive,” he added. Maraite said that health workers with Covid-19 accounted for 5% to 10% of the total hospital workforce.

Health workers who show symptoms, such as fever, have been asked not to come to work, and Maraite said the hospital could not force asymptomatic health workers to show up.

Another Liège hospital, CHC MontLégia, also confirmed to CNN that positive asymptomatic health workers have been asked to continue working on a voluntary basis and in the “strict observance of sanitary measures” that include limiting contact with their colleagues.

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The spokesperson for the private hospital’s communication department told CNN that positive asymptomatic staff are working mainly in Covid-19 units but can work across all units including those with non-covid patients, except the geriatric, neonatology and oncology departments, where patients are “particularly vulnerable”.

A spokeswoman for the Belgian Health Ministry told CNN allowing asymptomatic health workers to continue working is allowed in “very strict conditions” because there are not enough health care workers. “We try to ensure the security of all patients,” she added.

At a news conference Monday, Van Laethem said that 1,000 of the country’s intensive beds are already being used, with total of 1,250 set to be occupied by the end of the week. Both hospital and intensive care admissions are doubling every eight days, he added.

In an interview with state broadcaster RTBF on Monday,

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How One Fitness Enthusiast Is Tackling the Navajo Diabetes Crisis

From Men’s Health

LOREN ANTHONY’S BACKYARD gym keeps growing. Early this year, he had a few wooden beams. When summer ended, he had railroad ties, chains, and crates, MacGyver-ing them together for deadlifts and shoulder presses.

The 37-year-old grits out a workout session nearly every day, often uploading clips to his Instagram or Facebook account. It’s how he inspires his Diné people to find ways to train—and he desperately wants them to do that. “I want more people to understand that fitness is a lifestyle that isn’t a trend,” he says.

It’s a lifestyle that Anthony hopes more in the Navajo Nation can embrace, because it may be the key to overcoming the health issue that’s plagued them since the early 1970s: diabetes. Roughly one in every five Navajo has prediabetes, the highest ratio of any racial or ethnic group in the U. S.

Dietary issues are part of the problem. When the Diné were forced off their homeland and moved to Bosque Redondo, in present-day southeast New Mexico, they relied on second-rate government rations due to crop failure and alkaline water. More than a century later, prepackaged foods sold at gas-station convenience stores are the easiest meal choice, partly because there are just 11 grocery stores on the reservation’s 27,413-square-mile expanse.

Lack of fitness facilities and instruction is the other issue. Gyms are an uncommon sight on Navajo lands. When the government started the Special Diabetes Program for Indians in 1997, the Navajo Nation built seven “wellness centers” on the reservation. Even before coronavirus concerns led those gyms to temporarily shut down, limited hours prevented many Navajo from reaching them.

Anthony understands these struggles. His grandparents were diabetic, and his father died of heart failure in 2013, the result of unaddressed heart issues. In 2009, Anthony himself weighed 298 pounds and struggled to breathe and move. Doctors told him he was prediabetic and had high blood pressure. “I really didn’t want the end of me to happen because I didn’t take care of myself,” he says.

He took up bodybuilding and powerlifting, studying both on YouTube. After several years of daily training, he was down more than a hundred pounds. (He currently weighs 181.) He did most of his training at a gym and a football field in nearby Gallup, New Mexico.

Photo credit: Steven St John

In late 2012, he started a workout group, the Iron Warriors. The group met for free workouts twice a week at Gallup’s public school stadium. It began with five people, but within a year, at least 100 were lining up for the field sprints, bear crawls, walking lunges, and pushups. Occasionally, he also held sessions in the community of Tohatchi, in the Navajo Nation, as well as in Phoenix and Albuquerque.

The pandemic forced Anthony to pause his Iron Warriors sessions in March, but he won’t let it quiet his fitness message. He knows diabetes can be beaten, because he’s done it: He’s no longer at risk of the

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El Paso imposes curfew as COVID-19 cases overwhelm hospitals: “We are in a crisis stage”

Residents in the Texas border city of El Paso have been urged to stay home for two weeks as a spike in coronavirus cases overwhelms hospitals. The crisis prompted the state to dedicate part of the city’s civic center as a makeshift care center for the ill.

Virus Outbreak Texas
A woman holds up a mask she bought at a store on Friday, May 1, 2020, in El Paso, Texas. 

Cedar Attanasio / AP


El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Sunday night issued a stay home order with a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Violators could be fined $500 under the order.

“We are in a crisis stage,” said Samaniego, the county’s top elected official.

Earlier Sunday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said 50 hospital beds will be set up in the convention center and another 50 beds could be added if needed.

Abbott ordered the alternate care site to expand hospital capacity in the El Paso area in response to the coronavirus surge, he said. The site, scheduled to open this week, will provide additional medical equipment and medical personnel.

The surge in El Paso cases comes as President Donald Trump downplayed the virus’ effect on Texas, saying during last week’s presidential debate: “There was a very big spike in Texas, it’s now gone.”

The state has already provided over 900 medical personnel to El Paso, some of whom will be staffing the convention center site.

“The alternate care site and auxiliary medical units will reduce the strain on hospitals in El Paso as we contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region,” Abbott said.

El Paso County health officials reported 772 new coronavirus cases Sunday, a day after a record 1,216 new cases were reported, making up more than 20% of the 3,793 new cases reported statewide. That brought the total cases since the pandemic first hit Texas to 862,375. An estimated 91,885 active cases was the most since Aug. 30, and the 5,206 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported statewide Sunday was the most since Aug. 22.

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‘We Are in a Crisis Stage’

PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty

El Paso, Texas is in “crisis” after an overwhelming rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have crippled the city.

The city’s hospitals have run out of intensive care unit beds after COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 200 percent in less than a month, officials said Sunday, to more than 800.

Residents will now be under a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the hopes of reducing new cases of the virus, and those found violating the curfew could be fined $500, CBS News reported. People can also be fined for not wearing masks or social distancing in public.

“We are in crisis stage,” said El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego as he issued the stay-at-home order.

RELATED: U.S. Breaks Record for Most COVID Cases in a Single Day with More Than 75,000 New Infections

The city, which borders New Mexico and Mexico, is also urging residents to stay home for the next two weeks to slow the spread.

El Paso’s Department of Public Health reported that the city hit a record-breaking 1,443 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and hospitalizations increased to 853, another record. The city, which has a population of slightly over 680,000, currently has 12,179 known active cases of COVID-19, another record.

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“If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire health care system,” Angela Mora, the city’s director of public health, said, according to NBC News. “For the sake of those hospitalized and the front line health care workers working tirelessly each day to care for them, we ask you to please stay home for two weeks and eliminate your interactions with those outside your household until we can flatten the curve.”

RELATED: Illinois Health Official Breaks Down Crying While Giving Update on State’s Rising COVID-19 Deaths

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the city will set up 50 hospital beds at their convention center and can add 50 more if needed. The state also sent 900 medical personnel to El Paso.

New cases of COVID-19 are once again on the rise in Texas, with the state seeing an average of 5,864 new infections each day on average as of Monday. The soaring numbers run counter to President Donald Trump’s claim at Thursday’s presidential debate that “there was a very big spike in Texas, it’s now gone.”

The U.S. as a whole is now well into a third wave of COVID-19 cases, with a record-breaking 85,085 new infections on Saturday, well above the country’s previous high of 75,687 from July 16. Around 20 states are seeing their highest case totals of the entire pandemic, particularly midwestern states like Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

As of Monday, more than 8,702,600 Americans have tested

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Local Teens Help Solve Flint’s Water Crisis with New Lab and Water Testing: ‘It Gives Me Hope’

Flint Community Lab

During the summer of 2014, thousands of people in the close-knit, industrial city of Flint, Michigan — “Flintstoners,” as they proudly call themselves — saw their lives change in an instant.

In an effort to save money, the city switched its water supply from the Detroit River to the Flint River. Residents immediately complained about the water’s smell and taste and reported worrying symptoms including hair loss, rashes, and seizures.

Tests ordered in August revealed E. coli was in Flint’s water, and parts of the city were ordered to boil the water before drinking it. Elected officials denied for over a year that the city’s water was also contaminated with lead, but they finally acknowledged that the water wasn’t safe in September 2015.

The crisis is still fresh in the minds of many residents who continue to experience long-term health effects and are wary of their water.

Now, a group of local high school and college students is hoping to restore trust in the water system among their neighbors through the new McKenzie Patrice Croom Flint Community Lab, also known as the Flint Community Water Lab. For the next three years, they will work alongside chemists from the University of Michigan to test the water in more than 20,000 Flint homes and share the results.

RELATED: How Sick Are the Kids in Flint? Inside the Shocking Health Effects of the Devastating Water Crisis

The lab began as a pilot program in 2018 between the Flint Development Center and regional non-profit organization Freshwater Future and officially opened last month with the support of donors, including the University of Michigan, Thermo Fisher Scientific and The Nalgene Water Fund.

Markeysa Peterson, 17, tells PEOPLE she joined the lab to help people struggling in the wake of the crisis. Her nephew Curtis was diagnosed with autism due to lead contamination.

“We have to go through the everyday struggle of teaching him how to develop and function,” she says. “The crisis has made me a bit mentally distraught — everybody in Flint is struggling because we don’t have the attention or support that we deserve.”

In August, Michigan announced that it would pay $600 million to the victims of the Flint Water Crisis, but some residents say money doesn’t solve leftover issues from the crisis.

“Everything from the water plant to our tap needs to be completed replaced in order for us to feel safe,” says Carma Lewis, who has spent most of her life in Flint. “We’re sending our babies into these old school buildings where they still don’t have safe water and they’re using bottled water.”

For more on the Flint Community Water Lab, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE or subscribe here.

Flint Community Lab Flint Community Lab

Lewis points out that having local teens and leaders running the lab is especially important to her, and she plans on getting her water tested regularly.

“It gives me hope,” she says. “I have more faith in kids

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Whoever wins in November is going to have to solve the Covid-19 crisis

This week, we ask the question: What comes next for America and Covid-19? Regardless of who is elected in November, we will still be in the midst of a pandemic and facing multiple challenges in addressing it. Culture clashes over mask-wearing, social distancing and vaccines are just a few. We’ll tackle those in our CNN Digital video discussion, but first we start with public policy. Here, two former public officials — Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Frances Fragos Townsend — come together to tell us what should come next.



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Despite the deep divisions ravaging our country ahead of the presidential elections, many Americans are looking for answers to a common threat — the coronavirus. As the daily number of cases and deaths have risen, we remain in the throes of a pandemic that has killed more than 225,000 of our fellow citizens and torpedoed our economy. Indeed, the US is averaging more than 68,000 new cases a day.

Regardless of whether Trump or Joe Biden wins the election, though, the next president will confront a dual challenge: managing the current pandemic and ensuring that the country and the world are better prepared when the next plague strikes — as it inevitably will.

It is past time for the nation to make the investments we need to prevent, detect and respond quickly to emerging infectious diseases, like the coronavirus, before they sicken Americans and force catastrophic economic shutdowns. That is the main finding of a bipartisan task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which we were honored to chair.

Here at home, three of the most glaring failures relate to testing, science-based communication and the protection of vulnerable populations.

Nothing has undercut the US response to Covid-19 more than the failure to develop — to this day — a comprehensive nationwide system of testing and tracing that allows public health authorities to rapidly identify infected individuals and their contacts in order to isolate the sick from healthy populations. Without this timely information, authorities are too often flying blind, uncertain of the trajectory of the disease, slow to identify hot spots and unable to stop the spread of the virus through targeted measures that do not require shutting down entire communities and economies.



Sylvia Mathews Burwell wearing a purple shirt


© Jeff Watts/American University
Sylvia Mathews Burwell

The US experience on testing and contact tracing stands in contrast to nations like South Korea, which rapidly ramped up nationwide testing and successfully mobilized an army of contact tracers. The US cannot put itself in this position again.

The success of public health measures like contact tracing, mask-wearing, and social distancing depends on individuals and communities trusting and adhering to advice from medical professionals and scientists, sometimes delivered by elected and other officials. That public trust must be earned and sustained.

Elected US officials, including the President, often have fallen short as communicators in this pandemic. To prevent future pandemics from becoming a political football, public officials at all levels, from the White

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