9
There Is No Plan to Return to Normalcy in 2020

Ezra Klein, writing at Vox:

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the major plans for what comes after social distancing. You can read them, too. There’s one from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer.

I thought, perhaps naively, that reading them would be a comfort — at least then I’d be able to imagine the path back to normal. But it wasn’t. In different ways, all these plans say the same thing: Even if you can imagine the herculean political, social, and economic changes necessary to manage our way through this crisis effectively, there is no normal for the foreseeable future. Until there’s a vaccine, the US either needs economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness.

Brutal, but we need to look this square in the eye. A lot of this just seems politically unviable in the U.S. Especially so with a president who — despite spending over an hour on TV every single evening — has not spoken in even vague terms about any actionable plan whatsoever.

Any feasible plan starts with massive testing, completely subsidized by the government. And yet just yesterday the president claimed we don’t need mass testing. The one thing that everyone who knows what they’re talking about agrees on is that we need mass testing — and the president is arguing we don’t need it.

Friday, 10 April 2020