Coronavirus Ethics and Policy Insights and Resources

The Berman Institute of Bioethics is striving to ensure that the international public health response to COVID-19 is ethically informed as well as effective.

Through years of experience and scholarship, and tested through multiple threatened and actual epidemics, scholars at the Berman Institute have led research to identify the ethical principles that should guide the actions of governments and other institutions in a moment like this. This website is a resource for sharing those ideas.

Employing Greek Tragedy to Help Medical Professionals Cope with COVID
Paper in July 23 Lancet highlights innovative Berman Institute collaboration with Theater of War Productions
Johns Hopkins Launches K-12 School Reopening Policy Tracker
Interactive map is first resource to compare and analyze reopening plans nationwide
Ethics Framework for the COVID-19 Reopening Process
Positing a framework for evaluating social distancing policies and reopening plans
Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response
Helping make responsible decisions around use of digital contact tracing technology to fight COVID-19
Essential Workers Project
Addressing the essential work of protecting at-risk essential workers during COVID-19
eSchool+ Initiative
Formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to develop tools and resources for schools to think responsibly about caring for students during school closures and the reopening process

Vice | August 5, 2020
A DIY Vaccine Can’t Solve the COVID-19 Crisis
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Forbes | August 4, 2020
Using Greek Tragedy to Help Frontline Medical Workers Cope During COVID-19
The Berman Institute’s partnership with Theater of War was profiled

CBC News | August 2, 2020
Some countries may get faster access to a COVID-19 vaccine than others
Ruth Faden was quoted

CBC News | August 1, 2020
When a COVID-19 vaccine arrives, which Canadians will get it first?
Ruth Faden was quoted

Baltimore Sun | July 27, 2020
During pandemic, Maryland’s drug treatment clinics grapple with health safety issues, rising caseloads
Brendan Saloner was quoted

Vox | July 27, 2020
The global risk of “vaccine nationalism”
Ruth Faden was quoted

Vice | July 27, 2020
It’s OK If Countries Hack Each Other’s Vaccines
Ruth Faden was quoted

Inside Higher Education | July 23, 2020
A Key Step Toward Safety This Fall
Nancy Kass co-authored a commentary

WYPR | July 23, 2020
Midday with Tom Hall: “The Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing and Vaccine Testing”
Jeffrey Kahn was the featured guest

Washington Post | July 15, 2020
Some researchers and politicians call for pregnant women to be included in coronavirus vaccine testing
Ruth Faden was quoted

Good Morning America | July 10, 2020
More answers to your COVID-19 questions
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Barron’s | July 10, 2020
At Stake in Reopening Schools: ‘The Future of the Country’
Ruth Faden was interviewed

The (Maryland) Daily Record | July 10, 2020
Hopkins researchers give Md. high marks on school resumption plans
Megan Collins was quoted

WBAL-TV | July 9, 2020
Maryland School Districts Share Back-to-School Options
Megan Collins was quoted

WUNC-FM | July 8, 2020
Mask Up, and Make It Fashion: A Guide to Efficacy and Aesthetics
Nancy Kass was quoted

San Francisco Chronicle | July 2, 2020
Coronavirus-tracking apps proliferate, but will the help slow disease’s spread?
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

The New York Times | July 1, 2020
Researchers Debate Infecting People on Purpose to Test Coronavirus Vaccines
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

AMA Newsletter | June 25, 2020
Virtual resilience rounds help physicians navigate moral distress
Cynda Hylton Rushton and the Moral Resilience Rounds program were featured

Christian Science Monitor | June 24, 2020
“Immunity passports” could help against pandemic – or harm society
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

View more Faculty in the News

Vox | June 23, 2020
For contact tracing to work, public health authorities must regain the trust of Black communities
Hecht-Levi Fellow Katelyn Esmonde authored a commentary

The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2020
Taking an untested drug to treat coronavirus may be deadlier than the disease
Jeremy Sugarman co-authored an oped

Politico | June 10, 2020
Google and Apple’s rules for virus tracking apps sow division among states
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

The Baltimore Sun | June 1, 2020
The Ethics of Reopening Our Schools
Ruth Faden and Megan Collins co-authored the oped

BBC, Washington Post and others | May 29, 2020
The “Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response” report was featured in numerous publications
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

NPR Morning Edition | May 27, 2020
In the Battle Against COVID-19, A Risk of “Vaccine Nationalism”
Nancy Kass was quoted

JHU Hub | May 26, 2020
Digital Contact Tracing Poses Ethical Challenges
Q&A with Jeffrey Kahn

JHU Hub | May 26, 2020
The Complex Ethics of Reopening America
Q&A with Justin Bernstein

NBC News | May 16, 2020
Wave of ‘vaccine nationalism’ hinders global efforts to halt coronavirus
Nancy Kass was quoted

The New York Times | May 10, 2020
How Pandemics End
Jeremy Greene was quoted

USA Today | May 4, 2020
Teacher Appreciation Week: They Wanted Respect. It Only Took a Coronavirus Pandemic and Worldwide Economic Collapse
Ruth Faden was quoted

MSNBC | April 18, 2020
Ethics of Coronavirus Testing
Nancy Kass was interviewed

Washington Post | April 17, 2020
Civil Rights Advocates Press Md. Gov. Larry Hogan to Release Elderly, At-Risk Prisoners to Slow Spread of Coronavirus
Len Rubenstein was quoted

The Atlantic | April 16, 2020
The People Who Risked Death for Immunity
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

USA Today | April 16, 2020
Dr. Fauci Says Immunity ‘Certificates’ Possible After Coronavirus Pandemic. Here’s What That Means
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Los Angeles Times | April 15, 2020
So Much Is Unknown about the Pandemic because the Government  Keeps A Lid On It
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

WYPR-FM | April 14, 2020
Drug Shortages During COVID-19 Patient Surge
Yoram Unguru was the featured guest

Associated Press | April 10, 2020
Nurses Weigh Their Principles vs Safety in Virus Fight
Cinda Hylton Rushton was quoted

Bioethics Conversations: Genomics in the Era of COVID-19: Ethical Considerations featuring Berman Institute faculty Gail Geller and Debra Mathews
Jeffrey P. Kahn discusses the pros and cons of using smartphones for COVID-19 contact tracing
Jeffrey Kahn discusses digital contact tracing on the May 27, 2020, broadcast of BBC World News
Pandemics and Surgery: Orthopedic surgeon Casey Jo Humbyrd discusses ethical and other implications of conducting surgeries during the COVID-19 outbreak

Media contact for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics: Jamie Smith at 410-245-1106 or

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Opioid Scandal Haunts Drug Companies As They Respond To Pandemic
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Ethics of COVID-19-related school closures | SpringerLink
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
What Is Liberty? Addressing Undeserved Suffering in Health Care | NEJM
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Gene-editing and International Law: A Bioethical Debate @MIROMcGill