Maine CDC Director Featured In Prominent Science Magazine
Maine's Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Nirav Shah, has been front and center during the novel coronavirus pandemic here in the State of Maine.
He has updated the state alongside Governor Mills and many other public officials since the start of the pandemic on a regular basis for many months now and is known for his compassionate, transparent and direct approach to informing Maine citizens of how COVID-19 is impacting our state and what to do in this modern pandemic.
His part in handling COVID-19 here in the State of Maine was recently spotlighted in Scientific American, a magazine devoted to informing people of news in scientific research.
In an article published by Scientific American on October 16th, writer Ellen Ruppel Shell interviewed Dr. Shah on his handling of the coronavirus in a particularly vulnerable State in the United States.
The article, titled 'How Straight Talk Helped One State Control COVID', shares the challenges that the State of Maine and Dr. Shah as the Director of Maine's CDC face when it comes to the novel coronavirus COVID-19, including being the 'oldest state in the nation'.
The article goes on to explain how Maine has been coping very well in this situation despite the vulnerability of our population and that our numbers are low and impressive when comparing our elevated risk to other states'.
Digging deeper into the article it helps bring an understanding of Dr. Shah's educational and professional background together with how he chooses to convey messaging to the people of Maine:
"Trained in law and economics as well as medicine, Shah takes a broad view of public health that relies on equal parts science, persuasion and empathy. His twice-weekly public radio briefings follow three principles: never shy away from the truth, answer questions directly, and acknowledge the statistics and numbers without overlooking the human element."
In that same paragraph, Dr. Shah relays that this style of communication is not unified beyond the State of Maine:
"Our national approach, he says, does not adhere to those principles."
Throughout the article, Dr. Shah is giving the citizens of Maine much of the credit of how well the State of Maine is pushing through the pandemic, such as adhering to guidelines and taking to heart the degree of caution needed to protect our families and communities.
Another part of the interview, Dr. Shah gives his take on how the federal government should change how they communicate about the pandemic:
"We need a much stronger federal voice advising us. First, I’d return the daily CDC press briefing. I’d start every briefing with the hard facts and follow it with a call to action... And I’d encourage the CDC and other government agencies to present a grand unified theory of COVID-19—that is, to clearly lay out goals, metrics and strategies for the American people. Because in public health, our first and most important job is to get the people behind us."
Judging by how this CDC Director has done his job here in the State of Maine, maybe the federal government should take his advice.