Sudan keen to enhance cooperation with Egypt: Sudanese FM Al-Mahdi    Moody's completes periodic review of ratings of GIG Insurance – Egypt    Egypt improves ranking on Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom    FMs of Egypt, Comoros agree to continue coordination to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa    Egypt's stocks end week lower, benchmark EGX 30 plummets 0.52%    Myanmar police break up protests again after bloodiest day since coup    Sisi mourns Kamal Amer, head of parliament's defence and national security committee    Egypt court upholds 3-year prison sentence for Mubarak-era Minister El-Feky    A Happy Purrfect Rescue Story of 4 Cats in Thailand    Anghami music platform to be first Arab tech-company to list on US-NASDAQ    Egypt allocated EGP 104 bln in public investments to Upper Egypt over three fiscal years: Planning minister    Preview: Atletico host Real in Madrid derby title showdown    Egypt, AfDB ink €109 million financing deal to provide sanitation services to residential communities in Luxor    Egypt's Zamalek arrive in Tunisia to face Esperance in CAF Champions League    Spurs handed advantage ahead of north London derby, says Arsenal boss Arteta    Live score: Liverpool v Chelsea (English Premier League)    Egypt reports 577 new coronavirus cases, 44 deaths on Wednesday    Saudi-led coalition says destroys Houthi missile fired towards Jazan: State Media    Egypt's Sisi urges intensifying global cooperation to eradicate coronavirus in Africa    Winston Churchill's Moroccan landscape painting owned by Angelina Jolie sells for $11.5M    Orascom Construction to build Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre    Respect for diversity    Three decades and counting    Huawei launches HUAWEI FreeLace Pro in Egypt with extra-long battery life and top-grade noise cancellation    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    Second coronavirus wave in Egypt more serious, widespread: statistics authority    1st hours of registration for coronavirus vaccine seen 7,000 Egyptians signing up: ministry    King Tutankhamun funerary mask is must-see tourist icon: The Telegraph    Russian flights to return to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada for first time since 2015    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Biden says he's 'bringing back the pros' for virus briefings
Published in Ahram Online on 27 - 01 - 2021

For nearly a year it was the Trump show. Now President Joe Biden is calling up the nation's top scientists and public health experts to regularly brief the American public about the pandemic that has claimed more than 425,000 U.S. lives.
Beginning Wednesday, administration experts will host briefings three times a week on the state of the outbreak, efforts to control it and the race to deliver vaccines and therapeutics to end it.
Expect a sharp contrast from the last administration's briefings, when public health officials were repeatedly undermined by a president who shared his unproven ideas without hesitation.
``We're bringing back the pros to talk about COVID in an unvarnished way,'' Biden told reporters Tuesday. ``Any questions you have, that's how we'll handle them because we're letting science speak again.''
The new briefings, beginning just a week into Biden's tenure, are meant as an explicit rejection of his predecessor's approach to the coronavirus outbreak.
President Donald Trump claimed center stage and muddled the message of the nation's top public health experts in the critical early days of the virus and eventually largely muzzled them as the pandemic's mortal toll grew steeper.
The new briefings are part of Biden's attempt to rebuild public confidence in institutions, particularly the federal government, with a commitment to share the bad news with the good.
``I'll always level with you about the state of affairs,'' he said Tuesday, repeating a central pledge of his inaugural address.
It's a message that helped carry Biden to the White House. As a candidate he warned that the nation faced a surge of coronavirus cases in what would be a ``dark winter``; Trump, for his part, falsely claimed the worst of the virus was over.
Dr. David Hamer, a professor of global health and medicine at Boston University's School of Public Health, said having briefings from health officials that are ``based on serious science'' would go a long way toward improving public perceptions of the vaccine.
``There's a certain amount of vaccine hesitancy, and so educating people about the vaccine, how it works, how safe it is and how it can protect against the disease but also slow transmission is really important,'' he said.
The stakes for Biden, whose presidency hinges on his handling of the pandemic and the largest vaccination campaign in global history, could hardly be higher.
Biden is pushing a weary populace to recommit to social distancing measures and mask-wearing, pointing to scientific models that suggest the practices could save 50,000 lives over the coming months. He has insisted members of his administration model best behaviors for the country.
Those messages found few champions in the former administration, as Trump openly flouted science-based guidance from his own administration. Face coverings were sparse at his reelection rallies and social distancing nearly nonexistent.
In the weeks leading up to Biden's inauguration, the U.S. set records in new cases and reported deaths almost by the day, as many states reimposed costly restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. Even so, Trump restricted media appearances by his top scientists and public health officials and continued to spread misinformation.
Asked by CNN last week if the lack of candor from the Trump administration about the virus had cost lives, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, replied, ``You know, it very likely did.''
The Trump administration ended the practice of regular scientific briefings early on in the pandemic, after Trump expressed anger over the dire warnings of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Nancy Messonnier in February about the threat from the virus.
Trump later told journalist Bob Woodward that he had been ``playing it down'' to avoid creating panic about the virus. Aides said he also was trying to protect the economy to boost his reelection prospects.
As the pandemic took hold in the U.S. last spring, Trump adopted the position of a ``wartime president,'' holding extended briefings at the White House, where he _ not science _ was the star. Trump pointed to the strong television ratings for his early appearances and timed the sessions to overtake the national evening news.
From the briefing room, Trump shared his skepticism about face coverings, despite the widespread conclusions of scientists that wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus. He wondered aloud if Americans could ingest toxic bleach to kill the virus like cleaning a surface. He encouraged governors to ``reopen'' their states, even as cases surged.
Wednesday's briefing will be conducted virtually, rather than in person at the White House, to allow for questions from health journalists and to maintain a set timing no matter the schedule in the West Wing. It will feature Jeff Zients, the Biden administration's coordinator for pandemic response; his deputy, Andy Slavitt; Fauci; Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the chair of Biden's COVID-19 equality task force; and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC.
It comes as government scientists, led by Fauci, have been making regular media appearances to share their expertise in television and podcast interviews. Last week, Fauci called his current circumstances ``liberating'' and offered that ``one of the new things in this administration is, if you don't know the answer, don't guess.''
Hamer said that the Trump administration had created enough confusion and distrust around the coronavirus and the vaccine that the Biden administration has a long way to go to rebuild public trust, adding that some Americans may never come around.
``It will take time. It's hard to say exactly how much damage has been done,'' he said. ``I think there could be pockets within the country that may be more resistant to listening to evidence, because they may have set their minds on what they've heard from the past. But others still can be swayed and educated.''


Clic here to read the story from its source.