500,000 lost to COVID-19, but pandemic’s end is now within reach

The United States has broken the tragic barrier of more than 500,000 Americans lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is “half a million of our friends and family over this past year, our colleagues and our neighbors, people we cared for, and people who cared for us, lost in a fight that can feel never-ending,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, in a video issued to mark the dreadful occasion.

“We mourn these devastating losses, but we must not lose hope because today—even though we still face loss and tragedy—the road ahead finally looks brighter than the one we’ve been on. At this moment, millions are getting vaccinated and vaccine production is ramping up. Help is on the way.”

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Q&A: Why JAMA’s editor finds pandemic answers in conversation

From the first JAMA Viewpoint—co-written by Anthony Fauci, MD—published in January 2020 on the mysterious novel coronavirus that had just emerged in Wuhan, China, the people behind the JAMA Network of journals have worked furiously to deliver timely, high-impact original research and perspectives on COVID-19.

These essential resources can be found at the JAMA Network COVID-19 resource center, and they include a series of outstanding one-on-one livestreamed interviews conducted with key physician experts by Howard Bauchner, MD, editor-in-chief of JAMA and senior vice president of AMA scientific publications and multimedia applications.

For the “Conversations with Dr. Bauchner” podcast, he interviews leading researchers and thinkers in health care, often touching on hot COVID-19 topics such as testing, treatments, vaccines and the professional impact. For this article, Dr. Bauchner was on the other end of the questioning, and he reflected on what he and his colleagues have learned about medical publishing during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, and what medicine can look forward to in 2021.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Physicians, nurses, hospitals to America: This is our shot

With one in four Americans reportedly hesitant to get the safe and effective vaccines that have been authorized by the independent scientists at the Food and Drug Administration, the AMA joined the national organizations representing nurses and hospitals to release a public service announcement (PSA) urging the American public to get the COVID-19 vaccination when it is their turn.

“Vaccinations are safe, effective, prevent illness and save lives,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD. “Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated, and play a role in this monumental effort that will help us return to normal. Whether enough people get the COVID-19 vaccine decides our future and the future toll of the virus—so be ready to do your part.”

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Also published recently:

As pandemic rages, Americans to get health coverage lifeline

President Joe Biden took actions to expand access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while reconsidering moves made during his predecessor’s term that drastically changed a key family-planning program.

On health insurance, the president ordered the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to open HealthCare.gov for a special enrollment period to run from Feb. 15–May 15. President Donald Trump resisted calls for such a special enrollment period when the global pandemic struck the U.S. in the spring of 2020.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Also check out this other recent story of mine: