Coronavirus continues to threaten public health and the economy

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Corona virus. Photo credit: WebMD. Elizabeth Warren pinky promising little girl. Photo credit: Abby Wood.

The extent of the coronavirus pandemic in the US is still not known. There hasn’t been enough testing, and it could take another two months to get up to speed. 

“It’s pretty frustrating,” according to Edward Blackman, chief pathologist at Topa Laboratories in Southern California. The Centers for Disease Control developed the initial test for this country, but Blackman says, “The Food and Drug Administration requirements for approval slow down the process.” 

Blackman explains that big outfits, including Quest and Labcorp, have started testing, but that smaller ones like Topa can’t get underway. As to the test itself, it requires a nose swab that Blackman calls “uncomfortable,” but not painful enough to discourage patients from following their doctors’ orders.   

In the meantime, Mark Zandy of Moody’s Analytics says continued uncertainty increases the possibility of an economic recession. He opines, “It’s the role of government to assess and mitigate the damage.” However, he notes that “President Trump’s payroll tax holiday is not on the top of my list.”  

All this is happening as the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is down to Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. One of many remaining questions: Did Sen. Elizabeth Warren fail to get more support because she’s a woman? 

Writer Katie Hertzog says no:  “She actually benefited from her gender.” After all, Democrats elected Hillary Clinton four years ago, and she got more votes than Donald Trump. Hertzog, with the Seattle-based independent newspaper called The Stranger, insists, “We have to get rid of the Electoral College.”

Credits

Guests:
Edward Blackman - Pathologist, doctor and director of clinical pathology at Topa Diagnostics, Mark Zandi - Moody's Analytics - @dismalscientist, Amy Dacey - Executive Director, Sine Institute of Policy & Politics School of Public Affairs at American University and former CEO of the Democratic National Committee - @AmyKDacey, Jamil Smith - senior writer for Rolling Stone - @JamilSmith

Host:
Warren Olney

Producer:
Andrea Brody