The Coronavirus exposed America’s authoritarian turn
Independent expertise always dies first when democracy recedes.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci listens during a coronavirus press briefing at the White House, March 2020. Photo: Al Drago, The New York Times
EXCERPT | FOREIGN AFFAIRS | MARCH 23, 2020
"'The White House is finally acting, but it is still not doing enough,' writes economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. "Ventilators and test kits are not yet available in anywhere close to the numbers needed, and there appears to be no coherent plan for maintaining social distancing while at the same time getting the economy working again (which will be necessary to avoid an economic meltdown).
"With the administration and the federal bureaucracy failing to step up, civil society, the media, and experts outside of government must put additional pressure on the administration while at the same time picking up some of the slack themselves.
"It is a tall order, but Taiwan offers a model of how society can help develop solutions that complement government efforts to slow the spread of the virus and limit the death toll. The United States will have to do even more to strengthen its failing health-care system and, in the process, rebuild trust in state institutions."