Universal healthcare, which is touted as a solution to all of America's healthcare woes, is not necessarily a cure. Universal healthcare can be universally bad, as it is in Poland.
Infectious disease models can also describe riots. The spread of coronavirus and violent protests share many features in common, shedding at least some light on the coming summer of discontent.
The COVID-19 lockdown is responsible for both the loss of economic activity and human lives. Two independent groups of researchers concluded that the lockdown may be costing more lives than it saves.
Somewhere along the way, our achievable goal of "flattening the curve" for COVID-19 has mutated into "finding a cure," which is perhaps an impossible one. Public health and economic policy must be based on reality, not starry-eyed wish-making. Otherwise, people's lives and livelihoods are in grave danger.
If the spread of COVID-19 is unstoppable, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Johan Giesecke says that we must shift our public health strategy away from a futile attempt to prevent its spread and toward providing optimal care for the sickest patients.
Americans have developed a social pathology in which we pin our collective hope and hatred on a single person, the President of the United States. This began long before Donald Trump took office, but the coronavirus pandemic has greatly worsened the problem.
How would we respond differently if another outbreak happened?
Many politicians insist that they will "follow the science" in regard to reopening the economy. But the COVID-19 pandemic has placed us in uncharted territory with few relevant precedents to guide policymaking. Therefore, "Follow the science," is indistinguishable from, "Do what I say." This doesn't prevent activist websites like Undark from smearing reputable scientists who speak out in disagreement.
Should we open up the economy immediately or remain on lockdown indefinitely until a vaccine is made? Believe it or not, there are other options. It's too bad that society isn't smart enough to understand that.
A recent poll shows that 78% of Americans support stay-at-home orders. As the economy comes crashing down to levels not seen since the Great Depression, our social fabric will begin to rip, and the public will change its mind.
The coronavirus pandemic has devolved into just another partisan battle. In the process, it has revealed how poorly served Americans are by their leaders and the media.
The World Health Organization does a tremendous job advancing the cause of global public health. But two recent, major screw-ups show that the institution is far from perfect. In one instance, a group of UK scientists accused the WHO of spreading "blatant misinformation."