Tag: primary

Background Briefing: March 17, 2020


A Medical Ethicist on Moral Questions Arising from the Coronavirus Pandemic

We begin with advice from a medical ethicist to help navigate us through the challenges ahead as more and more people are locked down at home in isolation while businesses close and increasingly people are not going to work and are only venturing out to the supermarket where shelves are empty as a result of panic buying. Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health, joins us to discuss his article at Time.com “‘Is Ordering Takeout Unethical?’ A Medical Ethicist Answers Some of the Most Common Questions Around Coronavirus”. We discuss how people can protect themselves and their families in ways that are not selfish or paranoid at the same time while acting responsibly towards others, particularly the elderly who are the most vulnerable to the virus. He offers an example in terms of panic buying of the much-needed N95 surgical masks which are in short supply because selfish and uninformed people have hoarded them. But those who have should immediately turn them over to medical professionals who urgently need them because they are useless to the general public unless properly fitted. As for the ethics of social distancing, even having sex with your spouse or partner is not advised for two weeks until it is clear neither person is infected. And rather than fight over grabbing the last roll of toilet paper on the bare shelves of the supermarket, people should get into the habit of washing their hands after going out, in particular returning from the supermarket. In general washing your hands often appears to be one of the best defenses and it turns out to be a practice that cannot be repeated too much even if it seems redundant or obsessive.


Trump’s New DNI Tips His Treacherous Hand

Then we examine what is behind Monday’s dropping of a winnable case by AG Barr’s Justice Department brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against two Russian shell companies, 13 individuals and the troll factory in St. Petersburg responsible for spreading disinformation to subvert the 2016 election. Scott Horton, a Professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security, joins us to discuss how Richard Grenell, the unqualified Trump loyalist now the new Director of National Intelligence, who along with his deputy Kash Patel, are already tipping their hand in serving the interests of President Trump and his friend Vladimir Putin over the national interest by burying evidence of Russia’s malign activities which are ongoing.

Ohio Shuts Down Today’s Primary Election

Then finally with primary elections in key swing states today which may determine the fate of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, the Governor of Ohio has managed to cancel that state’s election on the basis the polls need to be closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Joining us is Daniel Tokaji, a Professor of Law at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law who is an expert in election law, civil rights, and federal courts. We discuss this last-minute action by the governor which will mean that Ohio’s delegates in the Democratic presidential race will not be counted until June, complicating and perhaps delaying the resolution of this two-person race.