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What we know about COVID-19

Summary:
Fact #1  Today, most experts believe that widespread mask wearing and widespread testing are the best ways to control Covid-19. Fact #2: February and March were the months when the epidemic in America got out of control, when public policy was most decisive. Fact #3: During February and March, public health officials actively discouraged testing. Fact #4: During February and March, public health officials actively discouraged mask wearing. Alaska was down to only 38 cases in mid-May, before exploding upward: New Zealand was down to 65 cases, and kept falling: Consider the following two stories from yesterday’s news.  Think about the media sources where these individuals may have gotten their ideas: For a while, the US was doing better than Europe.  Now we have

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Fact #1  Today, most experts believe that widespread mask wearing and widespread testing are the best ways to control Covid-19.

Fact #2: February and March were the months when the epidemic in America got out of control, when public policy was most decisive.

Fact #3: During February and March, public health officials actively discouraged testing.

Fact #4: During February and March, public health officials actively discouraged mask wearing.

Alaska was down to only 38 cases in mid-May, before exploding upward:

What we know about COVID-19

New Zealand was down to 65 cases, and kept falling:

What we know about COVID-19

Consider the following two stories from yesterday’s news.  Think about the media sources where these individuals may have gotten their ideas:

What we know about COVID-19

What we know about COVID-19

For a while, the US was doing better than Europe.  Now we have more total deaths despite a far smaller population, a younger population, less dense cities, less public transit, being initially hit less hard, and far more spending on health care.  And the gap is getting bigger—a month from now we’ll be doing much worse than Europe.

What we know about COVID-19

HT:  Matt Yglesias

Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment". In May 2012, Chicago Fed President Charles L. Evans became the first sitting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to endorse the idea.

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