COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Why the divergent fatality rates?, Time for Telehealth, Missing the Greatest Generation, Senator profiting from COVID-19 & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders. We hope you are staying safe, and we welcome your thoughts; you can always reach out to us via email:  pioneer@pioneerinstitute.org.

Our Top Picks for COVID-19 Pandemic News:

Jim Stergios, Executive Director: This is a really thoughtful, data-driven look at the divergent fatality rates observed around the world, with focus on two western countries (Italy and Germany) and one Asian country (South Korea). The ability of South Korea to drive up testing across all of its populations has been critical in its thus-far successful strategy to turn back the tide on the virus.

William Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences: Here is a link to the widely-used Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracking map.

Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:

Josh Archambault, Senior Fellow in Healthcare, writes in CommonWealth magazine that Telehealth is a vital tool to serve patients and protect medical providers. Gov. Baker has taken some important steps to address current obstacles, and has a big opportunity to do more. Read more.

Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare, writes in WGBH News about the generation who endured the Great Depression and World War II:

“Although we are deprived of their personal experience and guidance, we can still learn from their courage and strength and put our own complaints about lack of social contact in perspective.” Read more.

Barbara also shares a Boston.com news story on the City of Cambridge paying restaurants to make meals for the homeless. And she praises some municipalities, including Cambridge and Boston, for suspending the ban on plastic bags for essential businesses, and Gov. Baker for following suit with a statewide ban. On a related note, “kudos to Whole Foods at Fresh Pond for concrete steps to implement social distancing. This is the same method being used inside for checkout lines. Hopefully, all essential retailers are following suit.” See images below:

 

 

Jamie Gass, Director of Education Policy, shares with you an informative story: “The COVID-19 crisis is giving parents a taste of digital ‘unschooling’: With 55 million children now learning at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital homeschooling is providing an alternative form of education—one parents just might stick with once the threat recedes.” This story features a guest co-host of Pioneer’s “The Learning Curve” podcast, Kerry McDonald, author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom.

Shawni Littlehale, Director of the Better Government Competition, shares some information on the stimulus bill as it relates to small businesses.

Questions for Our Public & Private Sector Leaders:

Mary Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency: Why is transparency of elected officials’ financial disclosures as important now as ever? Read how financial disclosures at the federal level revealed that one US senator may have profited from the COVID-19 crisis. Yet at the state level, financial disclosure transparency of elected officials and policymakers varies widely. Pioneer Institute can show you how your state ranks here.

Do YOU have interesting articles to share with us? Please email us, or message us through our social media channels below!

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Read our COVID-related content below:

Khan Academy’s Sal Khan & ASU Prep Digital’s Amy McGrath on the Khan World School @ ASU Prep

This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, and Amy McGrath, the Chief Operating Officer of ASU Prep and Deputy Vice President of ASU Educational Outreach.

Pandemic Dead Reckoning: Unseen Casualties of Public Health Interventions

Hubwonk host Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Senior Fellow Dr. Bill Smith about new evidence that during the past two years of the pandemic, there were as many unseen excess deaths from non-Covid-related diseases as seen from Covid. They discuss the need for public health leaders to pivot their messaging to address this hidden mortality.

Why the jump in non-COVID deaths?

The Wall Street Journal echoes our warning about the rise of non-COVID-related deaths.

Mandate’s Constitutional Collision: Court Offers Civics Lesson with Vaccine Rulings

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Cato Institute Vice President Ilya Shapiro about the recent Supreme Court vaccine mandate rulings and what they tell us about the limits of executive branch power and the sitting justices’ views on the guidance of the U.S. Constitution.

How did COVID impact Massachusetts’ long-term care facilities?

Pioneer Institute has filed a Public Records Act request related to COVID's impact on Massachusetts’ long-term care facilities because the Institute believes this is a matter of obvious importance, both on principle (the public has a right to know the facts), and for purposes of evaluating – and where possible improving – public policy. 

Massachusetts Telehealth Report Card: Are We Embracing Disruption for Better Quality of Care?

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Senior Fellow in Healthcare Josh Archambault about his newest research paper, produced with the Cicero Institute and the Reason Foundation, on states' success in implementing telehealth to improve healthcare outcomes. They discuss how Massachusetts has used remote medicine to better reach patients and serve their needs.

Am I Contagious? Divining Covid’s Community Conundrum

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Alva10 CEO and precision medicine expert Hannah Mamuszka about which tests are best for determining who is contagious and the implications for the CDC’s new isolation recommendations.

Virtual Learning Grows During COVID

Virtual learning in K-12 education continues to grow due to the health threat caused by coronavirus variants and the assistance this learning model can provide to at-risk students, according to two papers released today by Pioneer Institute.

Study rates every state’s telehealth laws for patient access and ease of providing services

A new report from Reason Foundation, Cicero Institute and Pioneer Institute rates every state’s telehealth policy for patient access and ease of providing virtual care. The report highlights telehealth policy best practices for states.

COVID Tracker for Long-Term Care Facilities

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Long Term Care Facilities With 2+ Known COVID Cases and Facility-Reported Deaths in Massachuetts