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Tag: public health

The Right to Repair in a Pandemic

The Right to Repair in a Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies, organizations, and individuals have used 3D printing and other measures to address supply chain gaps, producing spare parts and products such as ventilator tube splitters, nasopharyngeal swabs, and face shields. To facilitate similar efforts, the National Institute of Health has created a 3D print exchange to share models and increase production, but it has not generally approved the use of these 3D printed products. Additionally, the FDA has adopted an emergency use authorization…

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Protecting Our Health Care Providers from Liability in a Pandemic

Protecting Our Health Care Providers from Liability in a Pandemic

While COVID-19 creates profound medical concerns for health care providers, it also creates fear of potential lawsuits. Clinicians are forced to ration scarce resources, such as ventilators, when there is an inadequate supply. Medical professionals describe chaos in hospitals that makes it extremely difficult to treat all patients appropriately. Patients have had elective surgeries postponed indefinitely. Worse yet, some, including cancer patients, have had essential operations cancelled. All of these circumstances could lead to serious patient harm and subsequent litigation….

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Essential but Excluded: Vending in the Time of Corona

Essential but Excluded: Vending in the Time of Corona

Immigrants, those with legal status and those without, individuals returning from incarceration, and individuals with time-consuming childcare and other family obligations often look to start microenterprises like street vending to provide for themselves and their families. However, many municipalities in the United States apply a penal approach to street vending, criminalizing it as a form of vagrancy. Even Los Angeles, a city known for its street vending culture, criminalized the practice outright until 2019. Other cities have permitted vendors to…

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Surveillance Intrusiveness in a Pandemic

Surveillance Intrusiveness in a Pandemic

Government surveillance capabilities have always been a matter of public concern, but the current pandemic makes the issue especially salient. We set out to discover what Americans think of government surveillance during this crisis. Americans have been inundated with media reports of novel forms of public health surveillance since the crisis began. Apple and Google just announced a partnership to create a smartphone contact-tracing application, which would use Bluetooth to trace a person’s movement and contacts. Apple is also using…

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Deterring Viral Pandemics of COVID-19 Misinformation

Deterring Viral Pandemics of COVID-19 Misinformation

As the coronavirus spreads across the United States, so does an info-demic of dangerous misinformation threatening public health. UN Secretary-General António Guterres characterized this misinfo-demic as a “secondary disease” that needlessly threatens public health, observing that “[h]armful health advice and snake-oil solutions are proliferating.” A U.S. Attorney similarly warned Americans to be “extremely wary of outlandish medical claims and false promises of immense profits.” “[O]ver 4,000 coronavirus-related domains—that is, they contain words like “corona” or “covid” —have been registered since…

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The Necessity of Firearm Stores During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Necessity of Firearm Stores During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gun owners and would-be gun purchasers are arguing that state measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infringe on their Second Amendment rights. To the extent the premise is correct—the Second Amendment guarantees access to a firearm store—it’s not clear that their conclusion follows. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, forty-five states have issued statewide stay at home orders. These orders are based upon guidance from the Center for Disease Control and other public health agencies that have…

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