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.

COVID Vaccine
Planning How to Allocate and Distribute a COVID-19 Vaccine
Berman Faculty co-author report laying out a framework for decision makers
Photo of the original Johns Hopkins Hospital
Berman Institute Creates Course for Medical Students Disrupted by COVID
New elective immersed students in real-time independent research on the pandemic’s impact
Johns Hopkins Launches K-12 School Reopening Policy Tracker
Interactive map is first resource to compare and analyze reopening plans nationwide
Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response
Helping make responsible decisions around use of digital contact tracing technology to fight COVID-19
Symposium logo
Preserving the Scientific Integrity of Getting to COVID-19 Vaccines: From Clinical Trials to Public Allocation
1:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Ruth Faden joins Anthony Fauci, Francis Collins and others for a JHU-UW Symposium

Zoom performance of Antigone in Ferguson
Antigone in Ferguson: Free Online Zoom Performance
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

A groundbreaking project that fuses dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of Sophocles’ Antigone with live choral music culminating in a powerful, healing discussion that will foreground the perspectives of people in Baltimore whose lives have been impacted by racialized police violence and health inequity

The Baltimore Sun | October 21, 2020
Kids with certain medical conditions should not attend in-person school while COVID-19 continues to spread
Ruth Faden and Megan Collins co-authored an oped

The New York Times | October 20, 2020
A Viral Theory Cited by Health Officials Draws Fire From Scientists
Ruth Faden was quoted

Globe and Mail | October 18, 2020
Parents cope with slow coronavirus test results, mixed messaging from schools and officials
Megan Collins was interviewed

Inside Higher Education | October 16, 2020
Winter Is Coming
Nancy Kass was quoted

National Geographic | October 14, 2020
Who will get the vaccine first? Here’s where you might land in line
Ruth Faden was quoted

Yahoo News | October 6, 2020
Experts call for including pregnant women in COVID-19 vaccine trials
Ruth Faden and Carleigh Krubiner were quoted

Voice of America | October 5, 2020
U.S. States Roll Out Apps Alerting People to COVID-19 Exposure
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Bloomberg | October 1, 2020
How to Safely Reopen Schools
Megan Collins was interviewed

Bloomberg | September 29, 2020
Rapid Covid Tests for Schools Are Important: Johns Hopkins [Video]
Megan Collins was interviewed | September 24, 2020
Half of COVID Patients Made this One Major Mistake, New Study Says
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

VOX | September 23, 2020
Who Should get the COVID-19 Vaccine First? The Equality vs. Equity Debate, Explained
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR | September 22, 2020
With Limited COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Who Would Get Them First?
Ruth Faden was quoted

Nature | September 17, 2020
Who Gets a COVID Vaccine First? Access Plans are Taking Shape
Ruth Faden was quoted

American Medical Association | September 17, 2020
Why distributing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine will be a global challenge
Ruth Faden was quoted

National Geographic | September 16, 2020
To find a vaccine for COVID-19, will we have to deliberately infect people?
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Stat | September 11, 2020
The ethics of pausing a vaccine trial in the midst of a pandemic
Ruth Faden was the subject of a Q&A

Slate | September 10, 2020
App-Based Contact Tracing Has Been a Bust. Apple Wants to Try Something New.
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

NPR Marketplace | September 10, 2020
Some of the most vulnerable to COVID say they won’t get a vaccine
Nancy Kass was the featured guest

ABC News | September 9, 2020
Why AstraZeneca pausing its COVID-19 vaccine trial may be good news
Ruth Faden was quoted

NPR Marketplace | September 9, 2020
Who gets first dibs on a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Nancy Kass was the featured guest

JHU Magazine | September 9, 2020
An Epidemic’s Electronic Eyes
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Baltimore SunSeptember 2, 2020
Maryland will soon use cellphones to help with contact tracing for coronavirus
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

New York TimesSeptember 1, 2020
These Scientists Are Giving Themselves D.I.Y. Coronavirus Vaccines
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Washington Post | September 1, 2020
Apple and Google expand coronavirus warning software
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

Washington Post | August 18, 2020
Cellphone apps designed to track COVID-19 spread struggle worldwide amid privacy concerns
Jeffrey Kahn was quoted

The New York Times | August 17, 2020
How to Protect Children’s Eyes During Remote Learning
Megan Collins was quoted and the eSchools+ Initiative was cited

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

View more Faculty in the News

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

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

As many clinical encounters move to the virtual realm, clinicians and patients encounter unexpected (or long overdue) benefits and burdens of the new modality of telemedicine. Drs. Marielle Gross and Jean Anderson discuss the benefits and risks as they relate to obstetric and gynecologic care.
Berman Institute Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellow Brian Hutler, J.D., discusses COVID-19 and the law in the latest installment of our Bioethics Conversations series
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

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

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
The Changing Landscape in Pediatric Hospitals: A Multicenter Study of How Pediatric Chronic Critical Illness Impact…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Kids with certain medical conditions should not attend in-person school while COVID-19 continues to spread | COMMEN…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
An epidemiologist explains the new CDC guidance on 15 minutes of exposure and what it means for you…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Watch Now - #Bioethics Conversations: "Trust, Solidarity and COVID-19" Our @rachelgurarie explores the concepts of…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Note: We are also hosting a #Bioethics Webinar on Monday, Oct 26, Noon EDT: Hugo Slim - "Humanitarian Ethics, the C…
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
#Bioethics Webinar: Ruha Benjamin, PhD (@ruha9) - "Viral Justice: Pandemics, Policing, and Public Bioethics", Frida…