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Ramp Up the Science

MBBE professor calls for investment in medical research to save lives and the economy

  • 3 April 2020
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 1033
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Ramp Up the Science

We must use all scientific tools at our disposal to shorten the course of the epidemic and lessen its devastating effects, MBBE professor David Christopher argues in a recent Star-Advertiser editorial.

Fast, accurate, and aggressive testing, such as deployed in South Korea, is crucial. “Hawaii should adopt this approach. Instead, our testing efforts are woefully inadequate, turning people away.” Encouragingly, new and better tests are being created and deployed, such as those that can detect the virus’s RNA in hours or pinpoint antibodies against the virus in minutes.

He emphasizes the need for more effective treatments, describing several promising formulations that are undergoing clinical trials. Just as instrumental, he says, are “the resiliency of the human body and its amazing ability to heal” and treatments that build on that, such as doctors intravenously injecting plasma from recovered patients [who are thought to be resistant to COVID-19] into those ill with the disease.

He ends, “Ultimately, we will have to live with the virus, but in a world where its threat is mitigated due to medical treatments. We have reason to be optimistic. Society has defeated smallpox…. [E]xcellent drugs allow HIV-positive people to lead nearly normal lives. Hepatitis C is cured in more than 95% of patients. So, too, we’ll defeat COVID-19 by boosting investment in scientific solutions to save lives, protect our healthcare workers, and restore our fragile economy.”

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