NYTimes: Army of COVID-19 contact tracers takes shape in Massachusetts

From today’s paper:

Massachusetts is the first state to invest in an ambitious contact-tracing program, budgeting $44 million to hire 1,000 people … The program represents a bet on the part of Gov. Charlie Baker that the state will be able to identify pockets of infection as they emerge, and prevent infected people from spreading the virus further.

The story quotes Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of the international NGO Partners in Health.

“Somebody needs to say to people who are worried and not feeling well, ‘We got you,’” he said. “‘If this is Covid-19, we got you. And we’ll look out for your contacts, your spouse and your children.’ And I think that’s another thing you can do remotely or virtually, is reassure people that there is no reason to believe everything is lost.”

Also worth checking out, Michael Specter’s piece in The New Yorker. Like many veteran health reporters, he’s known Tony Fauci for a while. So, he offers a profile.

As a reporter who writes mainly on science and public-health issues, I’ve known Fauci since the H.I.V./aids epidemic exploded, in the mid-eighties. He once explained to me that he has developed a method for dealing with political leaders in times of crisis: “I go to my favorite book of philosophy, ‘The Godfather,’ and say, ‘It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business.’ ” He continued, “You just have a job to do. Even when somebody’s acting ridiculous, you can’t chide them for it. You’ve got to deal with them. Because if you don’t deal with them, then you’re out of the picture.”

Since his days of advising Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Fauci has maintained a simple credo: “You stay completely apolitical and non-ideological, and you stick to what it is that you do. I’m a scientist and I’m a physician. And that’s it.”

Lots of great COVID-19 coverage here at home too.

Boston Globe: Coronavirus page.

WBUR: Testing Reveals ‘Stunning’ Asymptomatic Coronavirus Spread Among Boston’s Homeless

WGBH: Needles In A Haystack: Could Existing Drugs Treat COVID-19?

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