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Although it may have eclipsed our memories, COVID-19 is not the first disease outbreak that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has faced in the last three months.

It was as late as Feb. 25 — well after the first novel coronavirus case in the United States was reported — that CDC updated its numbers on what it called the EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping-associated lung illness) outbreak. On that day, while COVID-19 was silently spreading throughout the country, CDC announced that this “e-cigarette”-related disease had caused 2,807 hospitalizations and claimed 68 lives. [...]