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 listen​s during a coronavirus press briefing at the Whi​te House, March 2020. Photo: Al Drago, The New York Times    

Research and Perspectives for the Pandemic
Main Page | Healthcare | Civic Perspectives


"'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."

Full story at Foreign Affairs


Suggested links

Daron Acemoglu website

MIT Department of Economics

Daron Acemoglu named Institute Professor

Story: Study shows democracy fosters economic growth

Story: The permanent struggle for liberty

Book: "Why Nations Fail"

Book: The Narrow Corridor