病毒正在取得胜利

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When Michael T. Osterholm, a prominent epidemiologist, heard that the White House coronavirus task force was “ramping up” its work this month, he was elated. Maybe now the United States would finally tackle the virus with the seriousness needed.

当著名流行病学家迈克尔·T·奥斯特霍姆(Michael T. Osterholm)听说白宫冠状病毒工作小组本月要“加强”工作时,他非常高兴。也许现在美国终于要以应有的严肃态度对待病毒了。

Then he realized that he had misheard. The task force wasn’t “ramping up” but “wrapping up.”

然后他才意识到自己听错了。该工作小组不是要“加强”,而是要“结束”。

“I was in shock,” said Osterholm, a professor at the University of Minnesota. “We’re just in the second inning.”

“我惊呆了,”明尼苏达大学教授奥斯特霍姆说。“我们这才打到第二局。”

The White House plan to disband the task force is in characteristic disarray, with President Trump reversing course on Wednesday and saying that the task force would continue but change its focus. The confusion perfectly reflects the incoherence of the American “strategy” toward Covid-19.

白宫解散工作小组的计划表现出了它特有的混乱,周三,特朗普总统逆转了路线,并表示工作小组将继续,但会改变重点。这样的混乱完美反映了美国防疫“战略”的无序。

Vice President Mike Pence had earlier said that the disbanding of the task force was possible because of “the tremendous progress we’ve made” against the virus.

副总统迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)早些时候曾表示,解散工作组之所以成为可能,是因为我们在应对该病毒方面“取得的巨大进展”。

Hmm. It’s actually the virus that has made tremendous progress, eclipsing heart disease to become the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. In less than two months, we have lost more Americans to the coronavirus than in the Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined.

嗯。实际上,取得巨大进展的是病毒,它超过心脏病成为美国排名第一的死因。在不到两个月的时间里,因新冠病毒丧生的美国人数量超过了越南、波斯湾、阿富汗和伊拉克战争的总和。

While Spain and Italy have emerged from their Covid-19 outbreaks and enjoyed significant falls in new infections, that has not happened in the United States. For five weeks, new daily infections in the United States have been stuck roughly in the 25,000 to 30,000 range, declining only a bit.

西班牙和意大利已经走出了Covid-19疫情的阴霾,新增病例大幅度下降,但这样的事并没有在美国发生。在过去的五个星期中,美国每天的新增病例大致停留在2.5万至3万之间,仅下降了一点点。

Even the small decline in new cases in the United States is misleading, for it’s simply a result of great progress in the New York City metropolitan area. Exclude New York and new cases in the United States are still increasing.

即使美国新增病例的少量下降也具有误导性,因为这仅仅是纽约都会区取得巨大进展的结果。除去纽约,美国的新增病例仍在增加。

About half of states are easing some restrictions this week. But to manage the reopening safely, we need massive levels of testing and contact-tracing — and one more sign of how we have bungled our Covid-19 response is that while testing has, very belatedly, increased significantly, on most days the United States is still testing fewer people per capita than Britain, Iceland and Portugal.

本周大约一半的州正在放松一些限制。但是要安全地管理重新开放,我们需要进行大量的检测和接触者追踪——还有一个迹象说明我们搞砸了对Covid-19的应对,那就是尽管美国的检测大大增加了——虽然只是最近,但与英国、冰岛和葡萄牙相比,人均检测数仍然较少。

Trump announced back on March 6 that “anybody that wants a test can get a test”; this is still not true.

特朗普在3月6日宣布:“任何想要做检测的人都可以得到检测”;现实仍然不是这样。

Nor have we compensated for testing kit shortages by embracing widespread testing of sewage to look for the virus in wastewater, as the Netherlands has done. Even in impoverished Pakistan, sewage testing has been widely used to monitor polio virus outbreaks, so the United States should be able to use sewage testing for surveillance of the coronavirus and early identification of hot spots.

我们也没有像荷兰所做的那样,通过对污水进行广泛检测以寻找废水中的病毒来弥补检测试剂盒的短缺。即使在贫穷的巴基斯坦,污水检测也被广泛用于监测脊髓灰质炎病毒的暴发,因此,美国应该能够使用污水检测来监测新冠病毒并及早发现热点。

While the United States has poured $3 trillion into relief from the effects of Covid-19 — money that will run out soon and that hasn’t prevented young children in one in six households from not having enough to eat — the nation hasn’t invested nearly enough in science and in the scientific tools, like testing, vaccines, therapies and research, to combat it.

尽管美国已投入3万亿美元以缓解Covid-19的影响——但资金很快将用尽,而且也并未遏止六分之一的家庭的孩子吃不饱饭的情况——但国家投资在科学和科学工具——例如检测、疫苗、疗法和研究——的资金远不足与病毒抗衡。

“We’re significantly hampered by lack of funding,” said Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist at U.C.L.A. who studies transmission of the coronavirus by people who are asymptomatic.

研究新冠病毒无症状患者的加利福尼亚大学洛杉矶分校(UCLA)流行病学家安·里莫因(Anne Rimoin)表示:“资金短缺严重制约了我们。”

Bravo to those local leaders who acted early and saved many lives — I’m thinking of Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington, Gavin Newsom of California and Mike DeWine of Ohio — but governors are now in an impossible situation.

我要赞扬那些提早行动并挽救了许多生命的地方领导人——我想到的是华盛顿州长杰伊·英斯利(Jay Inslee),加利福尼亚州长加文·纽瑟姆(Gavin Newsom)和俄亥俄州长麦克·德威恩(Mike DeWine)——但是州长们正陷入左右为难的处境。

It makes sense to experiment with reopening in areas with fewer infections (perhaps using randomized controlled trials to gain a better understanding of what is safe), and epidemiologists note that there’s a particularly good case to be made for reopening parks and beaches if social distancing is practiced. But we still don’t have the testing and contact-tracing to be confident that we can get the easing right or to clamp down quickly when we get it wrong.

在感染较少的地区尝试进行重新开放是有意义的(也许使用随机对照试验来更好地了解怎样做是安全的),流行病学家指出,如果能够保持社交距离,重新开放公园和海滩是十分可行的。但是,我们仍然没有检测试剂盒以及接触者追踪来确定是否可以正确地放松措施,或者在发现错误时可以迅速予以遏制。

And Trump and Pence still seem oblivious.

特朗普和彭斯似乎毫不在意。

“By Memorial Day Weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us,” Pence told Fox News only two weeks ago. That magical thinking seems to be shared by many politicians and investors alike.

仅两周前,彭斯告诉福克斯新闻:“在阵亡将士纪念日那个周末之前,这场冠状病毒大流行将在很大程度上结束。”这种神奇的想法似乎得到了许多政客和投资者的认同。

Let’s be very clear: There’s huge uncertainty, so we need great humility in looking ahead, but most epidemiologists anticipate a long, wrenching struggle against the virus.

让我们好好明确一下:这里有巨大的不确定性,因此我们看下一步时需要非常谨慎,然而大多数流行病学家预计,应对这种病毒将是一个长期艰巨的斗争。

“If we have a big wave in the fall, it’ll make everything we’ve had so far seem not all that serious,” said Osterholm, whose infectious disease institute recently issued an excellent and sobering report about the road ahead. “But that’s the reality of this. I tell people my job isn’t to scare you out of your wits; it’s to scare you into your wits.”

“如果我们在秋天遭遇一波大的疫情,它将使到目前为止所发生的一切看起来都没有那么严重,”奥斯特霍姆说。他的传染病研究所最近发布了一份出色且令人警醒的报告,对未来做了预测。“但这就是现实。我跟人说我的工作不是吓唬你;而是要把你吓醒。”

A new Columbia University study suggests that we may face a rebound in deaths by late this month because of the easing of restrictions, just as a model used by the Trump administration shows deaths increasing to 3,000 daily by June 1.

哥伦比亚大学的一项新研究表明,由于限制的放松,我们可能在本月底之前面临死亡人数反弹的趋势,就像特朗普政府使用的模型所显示的,到6月1日前,每天的死亡病例将增加到3000人。

“This is here to stay, in all likelihood, until we have a vaccine, and a vaccine could be a year or two away,” said Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Or it could be never.”

“在有疫苗之前,它是不会消失的,而找到疫苗还要等一两年时间,”前疾病控制和预防中心主任汤姆·弗里登(Tom Frieden)表示。“也有可能永远都找不到。”

纪思道(Nicholas Kristof)自2001年成为时报专栏作家。他曾因对中国及达尔富尔的报道两次获得普利策奖。他的新书名为《钢丝绳:美国人走向希望》(Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope)欢迎注册他两周一次的免费新闻电邮,并且在Instagram、Twitter和Facebook上关注他。
翻译:邓妍
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