Op Ed: In coronavirus crisis, Don't prioritize economics over public health

Op Ed: In coronavirus crisis, Don't prioritize economics over public health Op Ed: In coronavirus crisis, Don't prioritize economics over public health

March 29, 20202 min read
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The following is an excerpt from Op Ed that ran in the Detroit Free Press late last week.


Th full piece is attached below for your reading pleasure.


President Donald Trump said this week that he hopes to see economic activity ramped up and social distancing practices and other public health measures reduced by Easter, which is April 12. This is a recipe for disaster and it again vividly illustrates his dismissal of medical and scientific expertise for his own political goals.


The rhetoric he uses suggests that the financial pain the nation will experience over the next year or longer is not worth the lives that will be lost as a result of dialing back public health restrictions. I am an ethicist. To me, Trump is forcing Sophie’s Choice decisions by people who have taken an oath to “first do no harm.” Trump and his advisers ignore the ethical pain that health professionals will have to endure who must decide who lives and who dies because we have too few ventilators or too few ICU beds to treat all the patients who need those beds for survival. Those harsh choices are very real right now. They would become even more tragic if public health measures now in place were loosened in order to improve economic activity.  March 27 - Detroit Free Press



 


 

There are many angles to explore and cover as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts just about every segment of American life. If you're a journalist covering the ethics involved and the leadership decisions taking place at each level of government, then let our experts help.


Leonard M. Fleck is the Director of the Center for Ethics at Michigan State University. He is an expert in the areas of health care justice and served as a member of the Clinton Administration’s Health Care Reform Task Force in 1993 and as a state ethicist for Michigan regarding access to health care. Dr. Fleck is available to speak with media – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.




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  • Leonard Fleck
    Leonard Fleck Professor of Philosophy

    Leonard Fleck is an expert in health care justice, health care rationing, as well as ethical issues related to genetic technologies.

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