How to evaluate the Chinese experience of epidemic prevention and control and the American experience? How to deal with the recurring “virus origin conspiracy theory” and “responsibility theory”? In the May 1 issue of News 1, Bai Yansong responded to public concerns by interviewing Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, a leading international medical journal.
1. How does the editor-in-chief of The Lancet view the decision of “sealing the city” in Wuhan, China?
Bai Yansong: Today (May 1) is a very important day in memory for Chinese, because the outbreak of Wuhan “closed city” for a full 100 days. After all this time, what do you think of China’s decision?
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: The Chinese government’s decision to block Wuhan in the face of an emergency is very decisive, by blocking Wuhan, China can give the world time to deal with the outbreak, which is not only the right decision, but also to show other countries how they should respond to the emergency threat of the outbreak. So I think we should thank China for its efforts in fighting the outbreak in Wuhan.
2, February 20, The Lancet on the publication of anti-virus is not from nature, why?
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: As the Director-General of the World Health Organization has said, in recent months we have been fighting two outbreaks, one caused by a virus and the other by false information. The effects of false information in many cases are comparable to the severity of the outbreak caused by the virus.
The “viral conspiracy theory” you mentioned is detrimental to the fight against the epidemic, we must understand the origin of the virus and study it scientifically, and not let such conspiracy theories disturb our thinking, and the negative impact of such conspiracy theories is very serious.
3, The Lancet editor-in-chief responds to “the origin of the virus conspiracy theory”
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: On one level, many of these claims are ridiculous, but they need to be taken seriously. There is a study on false information in the European Union, and some of it is terrible. Some people, for example, say that future vaccinations are dangerous, or that the outbreak was crafted by the media, or that the virus does not pose a threat to people. So pay attention to these rumors and prove them wrong. Unfortunately, there are some media reports now that this rumor spreadlike like a virus and affects people, causing harm to people. So it is necessary to prevent and control the spread of the virus at the same time to break the rumors.
4. Does it make sense to look for patient zero?
The Lancet editor-in-chief, Horton: I don’t think it makes sense to look for patientnumber Zero. For example, in the 1980s, when the AIDS outbreak, many people wanted to find AIDS Zero patients, to find the super-transmitters who spread the virus in the United States, and to spend a lot of energy looking for patients. At the time, it was thought that patient Number Zero had been found, and the man was widely discussed after it was exposed in the media, but many years later it was discovered that the person was not A Zero patient. So finding the man who has spread the virus can cause a lot of problems, such as stigma and discrimination against him, and it doesn’t do much, and it’s certainly not scientific.
But it is true to understand the origin of the virus, to know where it came from, and that the virus is likely to be transmitted from an animal host to humans. We need to understand how the virus spreads between animals, how it can spread to humans, and to prevent it from spreading from animals to humans. The goal now is to understand where the viruses from animals come from and reduce the risk of the virus spreading from animals to humans. What matters is not looking for patientnumber Zero but understanding the origin of the virus.
5, blame China is the source of communication, no use is not true
The Lancet editor-in-chief Horton: Unfortunately we have heard the argument that some people are blaming China for the spread of the epidemic, but the accusation sylunpres are not true. What we really need to do is calm down and work with the Chinese government to understand the outbreak and do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t come back. China itself does not want to see an outbreak and is not responsible for it. But it has happened, and the Chinese doctors and scientists I have learned have made the most outstanding contribution, advising the government, treating patients, and protecting the lives of Chinese citizens. So I think China should be very proud because it has a very good scientific research and medical staff.
Some of the world’s political leaders have criticized China as unfair and, in fact, wrong, and we should thank the Chinese doctors and scientists fighting the epidemic.
On 30 January, WHO has issued the highest level of alert, but it seems that many people are not listening carefully.
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: This is one of the unsolved mysteries of the spread of the epidemic, which the World Health Organization defined as an international public health emergency on January 30th, a warning to the world of the importance of the outbreak, and Dr. Tan Desai referred to the spread of the virus and prepared everyone.
The early warning mechanism for international public health emergencies is an innovative mechanism established in 2005, which was introduced as a result of the SARS outbreak that occurred between 2002 and 2003 and the world paid more attention to the impact of the outbreak following the SARS outbreak. The World Health Organization is the most important authoritative organization in the world health, and we need to heed WHO’s warnings. Unfortunately, many countries have not taken early warning seriously, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, which could have been avoided.
7. It is a human tragedy that no lesson slearns from SARS
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: The SARS outbreak from 2002 to 2003 actually spread to some Western countries, such as Canada, and the World Health Organization issued an alert when it spread to Toronto. Over the past generation, we have understood the risk of cross-border transmission of the virus, and after the SARS outbreak 17 years ago, when countries around the world promised to change the way they respond to future outbreaks, they promised to take the outbreak very seriously.
But the fact that the recent outbreak of the new corona shows that we have not learned from it, that we have not realized the danger of the virus, that this is a tragedy, that this is a real human catastrophe.
8. Why is the Editor-in-Chief of the Lancet called the “chief critic” of the British government?
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: I criticized the British government’s measures to prevent and control the outbreak, and in fact I criticized not only the British government, but also the United States and many European countries. Because The Lancet published five articles in the last week of January, which detailed the spread of the outbreak in the past few months to Western countries, described the characteristics of the new virus, such as the deadly, SARS-related virus, resulting in an increase in the number of deaths, some cases of infection into the intensive care unit still need a ventilator, there is no treatment, and human transmission. The article mentions the importance of using protective measures, mentioning the need for virus testing, contact tracing, and isolation of infected people to control the outbreak. It also warns of the risk of a major outbreak caused by the virus.
We already know this in the last week of January, but most Western countries, such as the United States, wasted the whole of February and early March, which is the man-made tragedy of the new corona pneumonia. Thanks to chinese doctors and scientists working with world scientists, we got this information in January, but for some reason the rest of the world didn’t take it seriously.
9. Is the UK now on the right path?
The Lancet editor-in-chief, Horton: I think Britain is on the right track right now, and I can see how much he has changed when I think Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech outside 10 Downing Street on Monday. I don’t think he knew how serious the virus was until he got sick, and how much the threat to the UK was, and Johnson did face his life after contracting it, and now he knows the severity of the virus.
I believe britain is on the right path and we have imposed a national blockade, focusing on keeping the distance between the crowds. It is believed that the UK will learn from the blockade in Wuhan and hopes to continue such isolation in May and then gradually gradually return to normal. I am very pleased to see that we have taken the right steps and unfortunately it took a long time to finally make the right decision.
10. What does the Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet think can be shared with the world about China’s epidemic prevention experience?
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: China’s experience is a quick and decisive decision, for a reason, China has experience in dealing with the SARS virus. When SARS suddenly hit, the whole of China was also in a bad way, And I think the Chinese government was determined to make a change after the SARS outbreak. Over the past 20 years, China has invested heavily in hospitals and health systems, as well as in some universities and scientific research. So when the new corona outbreak occurred last December, China had the capacity to do so, along with medical resources to respond to the outbreak. There is also a political capacity, because China learned that the outbreak is similar to SARS virus, the threat to Chinese society is very large, so decisive decision-making.
Western European countries do not see this as a SARS-like virus, but rather a flu-like virus. We think this outbreak is at most another wave of influenza, and do not pay attention to such a danger, we do not think that influenza is a very serious disease, this virus can spread among the population, causing the domestic population of immunization can protect us, but in fact this is a serious error of judgment. China is right, we are wrong.
11. Dividing countries and peoples is not effective in responding to the epidemic
The Lancet Editor-in-Chief Horton: I greatly appreciate the level of science and medicine in the United States, and their doctors and scientists have done a very good job of responding to the outbreak, such as Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Burks, both outstanding researchers.
What disappoints me is that American politicians, for example, promote conspiracy theories or support treatments that have no clear evidence, and openly criticize other countries, such as the United States for criticizing China, or for organizations such as the World Health Organization. This is useless, what we should do is to strengthen cooperation to meet the challenges posed by the epidemic, and to divide countries and peoples cannot effectively address this threat to all humanity.
12. Thanks to all medical staff for their contributions
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: Over the past three months we have recognized that the medical workers fighting the epidemic on the front lines are moral backbones, they are invisible contributors, we don’t see nurses and doctors on the streets, they work in hospitals or clinics. We are very grateful to them, they work in some very dangerous areas, the virus is unpredictable and deadly, sometimes they don’t have enough protection, they are silently dedicated, they save lives, protect patients, they are very successful.
I think all countries need to thank these health care workers for their contributions, they are continuing to fight the epidemic, we need to be more respectful of the medical staff, more attention to them, they are a very important part of society, we need to thank them for their contributions.
13, China’s scientific development has been the world’s leading level
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: China is now a big scientific country, and 20 years ago we received not many contributions from Chinese authors, but now China is one of the leaders in submitting scientific papers to the Lancet series. It is difficult to select papers, and the criterion for choosing them is to evaluate which papers have the most impact on a global audience.
China’s scientific development is already a world-leading level, much of China’s scientific research is relevant to the global audience, China has very good global scientific research institutions, and scientific leaders, thanks to the Chinese government’s investment in scientific research over the past 20 years, which is a very important factor in China’s success in this outbreak.
14. How to view the square cabin hospital?
The Lancet Editor-in-Chief Horton: Fangcabin Hospital is one of the very important innovations in China’s successful response to the outbreak, in some existing buildings to establish a temporary large square cabin hospital, patients with mild illness can enter the square cabin hospital, someone to take care of them, set up a triage system, if the patient will be referred to other hospitals, this is a very good innovation. First, it can protect other hospitals from the influx of patients, and second, it can provide room to respond to a large number of patients, and effectively isolate these patients in such hospitals and provide them with a safe space.
I think this is an important factor in China’s success in fighting the epidemic and an important lesson that the rest of the world can learn.
15, The Lancet editor-in-chief responds to the claim that “you should be in a hurry to save people, not publish papers”
The Lancet editor-in-chief Horton: This is not a two-choice problem, in the past three months, Chinese doctors and scientists have actually jugged both, summing up experience while treating people on the front lines. Their talk of experience in scientific journals should not be seen as a paper in a journal, but as a way of communicating with the world. Without China’s papers, which have been published since January until yesterday, we would not have had a reliable knowledge base to better understand how to respond to the outbreak.
So we are very grateful to Chinese doctors and scientists for publishing papers based on their own work to make the world better informed. This reflects China’s responsible attitude of being friends with other countries, telling and sharing their experiences and helping other countries understand the seriousness of the outbreak. We have to thank the doctors and scientists in China, who have taken the time to do these things, and who can tell their stories about what they are doing, which is a success in itself.
16. The inclusion of China in global medical science research is a very important goal after the outbreak
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: China is not considered a big country in medicine and medical science, but the outbreak does reflect China’s strengths. I hope that after this outbreak, more countries will recognize China’s contribution to the outbreak, which accounts for one fifth of the world’s population, and therefore has a heavy responsibility to protect and improve the health of this segment of the population. I think China has been doing this for the last two decades, especially in the last two to three months.
I would like to stress once again that the top priority in the response to the outbreak is the co-operation of countries, and that we need to work with our Chinese counterparts to integrate them into global medical science research, which is a very important goal in the post-epidemic.
17. Discussion of the outbreak should not be interpreted as part of the country’s geopolitical struggle
The Lancet editor-in-chief Horton: I regret that the discussion of this outbreak was finally interpreted as part of the country’s geopolitical struggle, and it should not be, that the new coronal pneumonia is a threat to human health as a whole, and we need to work together to address this threat. I do not want to see accusations against the state, which are of no benefit to disease prevention and control, and are unlikely to promote peace and development, and accusations cannot stop the epidemic. On the contrary, we need to sit down and work together and trust each other in order to solve the problems we face together.
I deeply regret that some political leaders have made such criticisms, which is why I would like to publicly thank my Chinese colleagues and friends here for their contributions to Medical Work and Medical Science in China, which have given so much, and we need to say a formal thank you. They should not be criticized, but deserve our thanks, which is the most important point I would like to emphasize.
18. What role does the Lancet play in the outbreak?
The Lancet editor-in-chief Horton: We want to publish the best scientific papers in the world, and we want to be a platform not only for scientific papers, but also for helping to bring about change and improve the health of people around the world. So it’s very important for us to be a channel that breeds world-class scientific work and helps it land and change the world, so it’s important for us to listen to our friends around the world, to work with them, and to help them tell their scientific stories to the world. So our job is to work together, to collaborate, to listen, to work together to bring research results to the widest possible reach.
I’ve worked at The Lancet for 25 years as editor-in-chief, I’ve had the privilege of working with talented scientists from around the world, we have a great scientific community, and I want to show the world that this community is making every day in advancing human health and well-being, in short, that’s what The Lancet does.
19. What will happen to the world’s public health after the outbreak?
Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet: The world changes every big event, like this outbreak. But frankly, is it better or worse? This is not yet known, but overall there are two ways: one is better cooperation, countries can work together, watch help, other countries can understand the health of Chinese residents, will affect my and my family’s health, my health will affect your health, we are interdependent, we have to sit together to solve the problem, this is a way; Cooperation is not required.
There is a stark contrast between the two roads in this outbreak, and at the moment of our conversation, I do not know which path the world will go after the outbreak is over, and it is the path of cooperation. Or is it the path of division? It depends on the joint efforts of all of us, and it is clear that the path of cooperation is the one that we firmly follow, and that all humanbeingmust must move towards cooperation. I hope that China will make a strong voice to support the global path to cooperation.
20. China should think about how to make medical research leaders more involved in international affairs
Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet: China has made great investments in health care and science over the past two decades, but I don’t feel i see enough Chinese representatives at international conferences or events i’ve attended, and I hope to see more Chinese scientists and leaders in the medical community active on the world stage. China accounts for one-fifth of the world’s population, but does its representatives account for one-fifth of the world’s major international events, especially those that will have an impact on the future direction of the world? No, it’s not.
So I think china’s leaders should think about how to get Chinese medical and medical leaders to be more involved in international affairs. I would like to see some of the Chinese I know, I respect, I like it very much, i admire, can play a more important role in the world, and I hope to hear more Chinese voices in international affairs, to hear stronger voices from China, to play a more important role on the world stage. Hopefully one of the outcomes of this outbreak will be for China to have a stronger voice.
21. How long will the outbreak be over in the world?
“The Lancet” editor-in-chief Horton: We now understand the situation in Wuhan, the blockade from January 23 to early April, about 10 weeks, now has completely eliminated the spread of this virus in Wuhan, indicating that the first wave of the outbreak, after the 10-week blockade will end, there may be a risk of the outbreak rebound, the only thing that can prevent the outbreak rebound is the vaccine, can make everyone immune, in the future to protect everyone.
We now have to maintain some protective measures, such as keeping people at a distance, paying attention to personal hygiene, washing our hands frequently, not facing others when coughing, so that we can stop the outbreak from rebounding. In the next six to 12 months, we’re likely to have a vaccine, so this time next year we’re probably going to start injecting it so that people can really be protected.
22, the outbreak makes people more cherish each other
The Lancet editor-in-chief Horton: Thank you very much for your concern, I’m in a small room at home, I’m in self-isolation, I’ve been isolating myself since the end of March, and probably in the next three to five weeks. On the one hand it’s a strange feeling, you can’t go to work and I can’t see friends, but on the other hand it’s an opportunity for me to think and reflect on the significance of this outbreak. I can also talk to my Lancet colleagues every day, and the outbreak has had a very interesting effect, because it brings us closer to each other and people work harder to get closer to each other during isolation.
It’s fair to say that we’re working harder to understand each other and treat others with kindness, which is a very strange result of the outbreak. It is true that we have to isolate ourselves at home, but in fact our hearts are closer and more precious to each other than we were before the outbreak, and I hope this result will be maintained and people value each other more.