The United States of America had a slower response to the pandemic as it had started to spread. The number of cases are surging but there are not enough safety measures. The country is behind many other countries of the world. Mark Patterson, Associate Dean for research and graduate affairs, and Samuel Scarpino, head of Northeastern’s Emergent Epidemics lab, of Northeastern University talk about the situation of COVID-19 in the U.S. What are we asking of our scientists?
“We find ourselves asking scientists to do more than simply study the virus,” Patterson says. The disease is progressing at an alarming rate. The scientists working on the virus have become the only ray of hope. This is true not just for the country but the world. They seem to be doing an amazing job. Scientists translate all their findings into insights and recommendations. They share it with the public through social media, their interviews, etc. Scarpino says that his team is working hard on the pandemic. A picture of the situation is painted with the data they receive. This will help the policy makers to understand what the situation is like. This will help in making the right decisions and policies.
Scarpino talks about the situation when it initially came to the country. There was so much of focus on China and how the disease was spreading there. This led to people forgetting that there are travelling Americans. They also did not think about how to combat with the problem if it comes closer home. The role of scientists is definitely important to him. Thus, they need to be able to act as advocates and share information . This should be based on the research that they have been working on. The absence of a leadership at the federal level looks like a matter of concern for the U..S in the present situation to him and there is a need for federal coordination to implement safety measures, like mask-wearing, properly.
N Malavika Mohan