I'm in Italy. America must act now on coronavirus -- and act big.

Italy has a unique vulnerability to coronavirus, because it has the second oldest-aged population in the world (only Japan has older citizens on average). This virus especially hits the elderly, and in Italy the average age of death is 81. The tragic experience of the Washington state nursing home simply reinforced the sense of vulnerability of older people.

However, America has a uniquely vulnerable population, too. There are tens of thousands of homeless people in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. If the coronavirus ever began spreading among those folks, who already suffer from malnutrition and other health problems, the losses could be catastrophic.

While Trump’s decisive actions have bought us time, it is important to recognize that we must use that time to think through the health threat in every component and react accordingly.

We should be planning for a worst-case pandemic and using the kind of intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II. Getting enough ventilators, masks, intensive care units, treatment medications and aggressive community-wide testing are the minimum steps to saving lives and stopping the pandemic.

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