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The Ethics Of Digital Contact Tracing & Vaccine Testing

Johns Hopkins University

Today,  it’s Midday on Ethics. We'll explore the ethical issues surrounding digital contact tracing and the clinical trials for a vaccine to combat the Coronavirus. 

Public health experts have long said that testing and contact tracing are key to contain the spread of the virus. Congress has allocated nearly $12 billion in grants to states to support contact tracing efforts. By some estimates, the US will need an army of more than 100,000 investigators tracking down people who have come into contact with others who are infected with COVID-19. Apple and Google have introduced digital tools for contact tracing. 

Tom's guest today has considered the ethical challenges of using digital technology in this sensitive area. Dr. Jeffrey Kahn is the director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He also oversaw a project that led to a new book with recommendations to ensure that contact tracing is not only effective, but ethical. Dr. Kahn joins us via Skype.

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