Flouting mask wearing as means to help control the pandemic. Forcing states to secure critical medical supplies and bootstrap their own testing capacity. Touting hydroxychloroquine as a key COVID therapy. These are some of the more memorable features of the national pandemic response of the United States to date. A response that has led the US to have the largest number of COVID deaths globally – 200,000 and counting. But millions of Americans believe that President Trump’s approach to the pandemic has been realistic, if not visionary. They say that stabilizing COVID cases and a declining death rate prove that President Trump was right not to panic, that the virus is not an existential threat. Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger, believes otherwise. He supports nation-wide mask wearing, targeted lockdowns, and a go-slow approach that privileges public health over the economy. In this episode of the Munk Debates Podcast, Andy Slavitt, former Obama Chief of Medicare and Medicaid, and New York University law professor, Richard Epstein, debate the essence of these two competing arguments.
Sources: ABC News, Washington Post, CNN, The Telegraph, BBC, The Sun, Fox Business, NBC News