Ask The Experts: Your Coronavirus Questions, Answered

Jun 10, 2020

Do protests spread the coronavirus? What about asymptomatic people? And where are the next possible hotspots? We look into what we know about the pandemic as global cases continue to rise, while much of the developed world begins to reopen.


Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. (@ashishkjha)

Dr. Utibe Essien, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. (@UREssien)

From The Reading List

New York Times: “The World Reopens, Despite Skyrocketing Coronavirus Cases” — “Two months ago, when there were roughly one million confirmed coronavirus cases and the primal politics of survival was sweeping the world, shutting down was the order of the day.”

Boston Globe: “Editorial: Massachusetts, let’s get more ambitious with coronavirus testing” — “Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration deserves credit for ramping up coronavirus testing in Massachusetts after the federal government botched the rollout of COVID-19 tests, forcing states to manage the outbreak while flying nearly blind.”

NPR: “Even In A Pandemic, WHO Believes That Public Protests Are Important” — “In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization took time at its daily press conference to address another pressing issue: the wave of protests against police violence and racial injustice.”

New York Times: “A Delicate Balance: Weighing Protest Against the Risks of the Coronavirus” — “None of the plans for how the nation might safely emerge from the coronavirus lockdown involved thousands of Americans standing shoulder to shoulder in the streets of major cities or coughing uncontrollably when the authorities used tear gas to disperse them.”

Axios: “WHO: Data suggests it’s “very rare” for coronavirus to spread through asymptomatics” — “Contact tracing data from around the globe suggests that while there are instances of asymptomatic coronavirus patients transmitting the virus to others, they are not ‘a main driver’ of new infections, World Health Organization officials said at a press conference Monday.”

STAT: “‘We don’t actually have that answer yet’: WHO clarifies comments on asymptomatic spread of Covid-19” — “A top World Health Organization official clarified on Tuesday that scientists have not determined yet how frequently people with asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 pass the disease on to others, a day after suggesting that such spread is ‘very rare.’”

New York Times: “George Floyd Protests Add New Front Line for Coronavirus Doctors” — “Outside medical centers across the country, doctors and other health care workers have been stopping work in recent days for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to join in protesting the death of George Floyd, who was pinned down by a police officer in Minneapolis for that amount of time before his death.”

The Atlantic: “America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic” — “After months of deserted public spaces and empty roads, Americans have returned to the streets. But they have come not for a joyous reopening to celebrate the country’s victory over the coronavirus. Instead, tens of thousands of people have ventured out to protest the killing of George Floyd by police.”

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