COVID-19 and Pandemics: Business and Legal ChallengesOctober 16, 2020
COVID-19 upended business as usual across the country and the world. Companies large and small are challenged on multiple levels to comply with shifting state, local and federal regulations as the government responds to a virus that scientists are still trying to understand. Philip Hagan and James O’Reilly wrote COVID-19 and Other Pandemics: Business and Legal Challenges to help businesses address these challenges. Infused with analysis and background on issues readers need to understand — both scientific and legal — this book was written to be a practical guide to conducting business during COVID-19.
Philip Hagan and James O’Reilly are both public health experts with strong backgrounds in safety regulation. Philip Hagan is a consultant with Atlas Technical Consultants and a principal at International Risk Management, LLC, providing management consulting to companies all over the world, and he has a Lifetime Achievement Award from ABSA International and degrees from George Washington University and Georgetown University. James O’Reilly has taught Public Health and Food, Drug and Safety Laws for 39 years at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine and College of Law. He has worked with the FDA, CDC and CPSC since 1974 on various projects dealing with consumer product safety. Along with his work as the co-editor of the Accident Prevention Manual for the National Safety Council, he served in governments in the Cincinnati region. He graduated from Boston College and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Hagan and O’Reilly took some time to answer questions about their book, COVID-19 and Other Pandemics: Business and Legal Challenges.
COVID-19 has provided a multiple set of challenges for businesses, employers and organizations. What, in your opinion, makes this pandemic such a difficult scenario for businesses to navigate?
Jim O’Reilly (JO): Your margin for error is so small for your most valuable employees. Death is the outcome of the lung effects for those who do not have early access to a well-equipped hospital intervention. Those who survived, and who did not have robust medical insurance, have incurred hospital bills of approximately $87,000 each, to threaten their financial future. (Those over 65 have Medicare but may not have paid for the “MediGap” insurance for the extra cost and Part B “out of network” aspects, and may not have paid for Part D medication coverages, while the suite of drugs to save their lives were quite costly.) Bankruptcy or death? Inability to continue jobs that require robust movements? The more you learn the scarier it is.
Phil Hagan (PH): One major issue is our overall lack of knowledge and political discourse across the world that has colored the science related to the virus, SARS-CoV-2 and the disease, COVID-19. The body of knowledge related to this pandemic changes on an almost daily basis. Even on a simple question regarding modes of…