Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CDC has enhanced quarantine powers, and they could be abused

Kyle Edwards, Wendy Parnet and Scott Burris have a disturbing op-ed on p. A23 of the New York Times, Tuesday, January 24, the “C.D.C.’s troubling new power” .

The writers bring back the incidents with the Ebola outbreak in 2014 (like Kaci Hickox).  But it’s easy to imagine what could happen with another SARS, or with a future avian influenza.  The article imagines that Trump could abuse the powers of quarantine.

Of course, that’s one reason to become much more aggressive with vaccine development (and one more reason why Trump’s appeasement of vaccine denial is dangerous).

Remember the hypothetical public health arguments launched against gay men in the 1980s, especially before HTLV-III (HIV) was identified.  I can imagine arguments you could make about how some people could “amplify” Zika before it affects pregnant women.

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