The Unlucky Timing of an Election-Year Pandemic


Well, it’s official. A presidential administration that left U.S. citizens to sink or swim when facing the worst pandemic in a century has finally admitted what we already knew. It has given up. Saying the quiet part out loud, White House Chief-of-Staff Meadows acknowledged the Coronavirus task force no longer even pretends to address the spread of the virus. But this is no surprise to...

A Better Response to COVID-19


Polly J. Price, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law and Professor of Global Health, Emory University The next presidential term will commence exactly one year after the first confirmed U.S. case of COVID-19. The U.S. has since recorded the highest number of COVID-19 deaths and infections in the world. Because an estimated 90% of Americans remain vulnerable to infection, the next administration...

Carnegie Fellow Polly Price on How Governments Confront Pandemics like Covid-19


This article on the Carnegie Corporation web site provides background on the book Plagues in the Nation. The article describes how I first studied public health issues, starting with the spread of the Ebola virus in the United States. The panic over Ebola led to missteps by political leaders, with several governors squabbling publicly with the federal government about who was in charge. Sound...



As I recently wrote in The Atlantic, during the 1918-19 pandemic flu, the Surgeon General of the U.S. could do little more than urge state and local governments to close schools and prohibit large gatherings. But then-U.S. Surgeon General Rupert Blue also urged Americans to make face masks and wear them in public. Newspapers printed instructions, and the American Red Cross produced thousands of...


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