The last several months have been unlike anything we’ve ever seen, with extreme measures taken around the world to slow the spread of COVID-19. The policy of lockdowns and mass quarantines were widely adopted — but each passing day begs the question, did we take the right approach? COVID-19 is no doubt a real disease that should be taken seriously. But, our efforts to control it have come with high costs and unintended consequences. The government’s unprecedented strategy of halting the U.S. economy may have been well intentioned, but it has yielded lost businesses, broken dreams, and even death due to depression, addiction, other untreated diseases, and even starvation in some parts of the world.
So, how did we get here and what will happen next? In their insightful new book The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe, Discovery Institute Senior Fellows Jay Richards and Doug Axe and statistician William M. Briggs grapple with crucial questions:
- What will be the total cost in dollars, lives, and livelihoods of this response from governments, taken on advice from scientists?
- What role have national and global health organizations such as WHO played in this? To whom are they accountable?
- What evidence do they rely on in sounding the alarm?
- How did science bureaucrats, relying on murky data and speculative computer models, gain the power to shut down the global economy?
- How did politicians, who know nothing of the science, decide whom to trust?
In this talk, Richards, Axe, and Briggs will outline what we now know and how to prevent this from ever happening again.