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U.S. health expert recalls Chinese peers’ guidance on fighting COVID-19

Xinhua Published: 2020-05-10 10:53:04

Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health, has recalled the help received from his Chinese peers at the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, during a webinar held on Thursday.

Photo shows people hold hands. [Photo: VCG]

Photo shows people hold hands. [Photo: VCG]

Vermund said that about six weeks ago, after the pandemic emerged in the United States, his Chinese friends specializing in public health contacted him and suggested holding a phone conference with U.S. researchers and clinical experts to share with them the Chinese experience of fighting COVID-19.

“I said, this is utterly delightful; this is fantastic. So we had a very valuable exchange where our Chinese friends presented to us their experience of battling COVID-19, both on the public health and on the clinical side,” Vermund said during the webinar.

“We were so impressed that our Chinese friends would reach out to guide us in this way,” he said. “And we were so grateful that we are now doing the same for our African colleagues … just as our Chinese friends did for us.”

Vermund congratulated the Chinese experts on their success in containing the spread of the virus following their remarkable efforts and clinical work. “This is something we envy, because our epidemic is still the world’s largest, and it continues to rage,” he said.

“We have now begun aggressive mask use. And this took a lot longer than it should have. It took a long time to become normative, and I feel that many Americans are not yet disciplined to stick with these reasonable precautions,” he noted.

“So again, congratulations on the progress you’ve made. And I know that all of you are hoping for the very best in the United States as we try to have kind of public health and social discipline that you had,” Vermund said.

Chinese keynote speakers at Thursday’s webinar included Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory specialist and academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Qiao Jie, president of the Peking University Third Hospital and also an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and Zhang Wenhong, head of Shanghai’s COVID-19 clinical experts team.

They were joined by former Dean of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Barry Bloom, Dean of the Yale School of Public Health Sten Vermund, and the chief of medicine at New York University Langone Health’s Tisch Hospital Brian Bosworth.

“They exchanged opinions and reached a very positive conclusion in the end, as Professor Barry Bloom from Harvard said that health care is local, but health research is global,” said Florence Fang, co-founder of the newly-established non-profit Global Alliance to Combat COVID-19, who was also the webinar’s organizer.

“The world must rely on scientific methods to deal with the pandemic. We must also use scientific methods to find the origin of the virus,” Fang told Xinhua on Friday.

“If we want to win this war against the coronavirus, we must work together globally and not be misled by misinformation of any kind. We must listen to scientific information and let science tell us what to do. This is the consensus that we have reached at this webinar,” he said.

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