Medical consensus: Follow evidence on coronavirus vaccine review

The AMA and 77 other prominent national organizations representing patients, physicians, researchers and others that constitute a broad consensus of health care stakeholders are urging federal health agencies to let scientific evidence drive their decision-making on vaccines to protect against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“By clearly explaining the processes in place to ensure scientific rigor, federal agencies and government leaders will build the confidence and public trust necessary for America to meet this challenge,” says the letter, published this week in the Washington, D.C., edition of The Wall Street Journal.

My lede. The whole shebang.

3 big reasons why letting NPs practice independently is a bad idea

The AMA is strongly urging California Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto a bill—A.B. 890—that would allow nurse practitioners to practice without physician supervision.

In a letter to Newsom, AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, explains that the bill “will not expand access to care in rural and underserved areas, increases overall health care costs and threatens the health and safety of patients in California.”

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

5 things specialists can learn from each other to boost mask-wearing

When it comes to COVID-19, physicians of all specialties are struggling to better understand, diagnose, treat, and limit the spread of the deadly disease. One thing that’s become crystal clear is that it’s vitally important for patients to #MaskUp to protect others from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Getting that message across to patients and families can be difficult. In addition to the communications challenge of explaining the evolving science on the efficacy of mask-wearing, there is resistance among some patients who have encountered disinformation among Facebook friends and in Twitter trends.

It is critical that physicians help patients understand their risks for transmission through clear and simple communication that is firmly rooted in science. The AMA is partnering with other leading health organizations to encourage people to mask up to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Five AMA members took time to discuss insights from their specialties that physicians of all stripes can apply to help spread the message to mask up.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

How Google, Apple can help assure contact tracing guards privacy

Technology behemoths Google and Apple have joined forces to create functionalities for their popular smartphone operating systems that automatically notify users of potential exposures to people with COVID-19.

In the Google-Apple announcement, the companies say their systems won’t track users’ location, that users control whether they receive exposure notifications, that only public health authorities can use the system, and that neither Google, Apple, nor other users can see a user’s identity. Both Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS require users to opt in to the functionality.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.