Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Reblogged:Four Years Since "15 Days" Flattened Freedom

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

John Stossel reminds us of the government's inappropriate, authoritarian response to the Covid pandemic:
They complied with teachers unions' demand to keep schools closed. Kids' learning has been set back by years.

Politicians destroyed jobs by closing businesses. Some shutdown orders were ridiculous. Landscaping businesses and private campgrounds were forced to shut down.

Both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden sharply increased government spending. Trump's $2.2 trillion "stimulus" package, followed by Biden's $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan," led to so much money printing that inflation doubled and then tripled.
I recall being much more worried about what the government might do than about the illness itself at the start of the pandemic.

I was right to be concerned, and Stossel is right to remind us of those dark days.

But I would continue just about where he left off when he reminds us that Sweden, which had one of the more sane pandemic responses, did not go on to become the object lesson so many journalists assured us it would.

Yes, some countries dealt more or less appropriately with the pandemic, but which ones, and what did those countries get right or wrong? It's one thing to learn not to repeat a mistake, but that isn't the same thing as knowing the right course of action.

In that vein, I recommend reading (or re-reading) A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease, a white paper by Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute, which is discussed in the video embedded below.

In the episode of New Ideal Live embedded above, Ben Bayer interviews Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute and Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert, to discuss Ghate's recent paper "A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease," linked above.

The paper begins in part:
Government's public health goal in the face of a novel respiratory virus like SARS-CoV-2 is to remove the threat posed by carriers of the virus -- primarily by testing, isolating and tracking those carriers. Trying to save every life from a novel virus whatever the cost, or to balance some people's lives against other people's livelihoods, is not a valid public health goal. Apart from testing, isolating and tracking, government should issue only voluntary guidelines and then leave us each free to take the countermeasures we individually think necessary in the face of the new reality.

To accomplish its proper public health goal, the government must catalog the severity of various infectious diseases and then, for severe infectious diseases, it must have the ability to test, isolate and track contagious individuals. All of this can and needs to be carefully codified into law.
The above would have lead to a very different course of action than most governments actually took, but it is one that would have made the pandemic much more bearable, and likely far less deadly than it turned out to be.

-- CAV

Link to Original

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...