In the News
In the News
Michael Levy, PhD, spoke about the dangers posed by evictions during a pandemic. Larger households are dangerous for infectious disease because you have more people –and more avenues of ingress for the virus.
Susan Ellenberg, PhD, who serves as a member of a DSMB for the Covid-19 vaccine, explained how these independent panels will ensure the safety and efficacy of a vaccine before it reaches the public.
Susan Ellenberg, PhD, said it’s important to keep data and safety monitoring boards anonymous to protect the members from people desperate for treatment: It “would be very hard to tell [a patient], ‘Oh I can’t help you.’ It’s an unreasonable burden.”
A less-than-robust testing and reporting system could skew our understanding of our COVID-19 infections rates. “It’s going to look like your cases are coming down when they’re not,” commented Jeffrey Morris, PhD.
White House influence on the vaccine approval process “is not something we ever had to think about before,” says Susan Ellenberg, PhD. Though there are some valid concerns, she adds, “I’m hopeful that the process will play out in a way that’s driven by the science … this is a story for the ages.”
Nwamaka Eneanya, MD, MPH, says that factoring in a patient’s race can exacerbate health disparities in kidney disease. She advised Black patients to ask, If I am unable to receive certain specialty referrals or treatments, are there alternative measurements of kidney function that can be used that do not include race?
Michael Levy, PhD, commented that the National Football League’s attempts to play in the fall may be dangerously misguided. What we’ve learned over the spring and summer about the importance of distance and how long the virus is alive in the air may not hold when the air gets drier and colder, Dr. Levy said.
“Members of a data monitoring committee should all be very familiar with clinical trials,” says Susan Ellenberg, PhD, who wrote related FDA guidelines. She commented on questionable appointments to the data monitoring committee for NeuroRx’s COVID-19 treatment.
With Philadelphia’s delay on renter evictions set to expire soon, an editorial on how eviction crisis could exacerbate COVID-19 cited an epidemiological simulation created by Michael Levy, PhD, which showed that every 70 evicted households would correspond with at least one extra COVID-19 death.
Susan Ellenberg, PhD, commented on the state of COVID-19 vaccine development: She hopes people are reassured by the AstraZeneca trial's pause for safety and says it's unlikely that we’ll have a vaccine this fall.
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