Robin Hanson on whether governments can squash COVID-19

by DanielFilan1 min read19th Mar 20201 comment



Summary: Hanson argues that Western governments are unlikely to be competent enough to both squash COVID-19 and prevent new cases from entering from neighbouring lax countries. Final two paragraphs:

Before we all jump off this cliff together, can we at least collect and publish some honest estimates of our chances of success? Such as perhaps via conditional betting markets? If you aren’t willing to exactly copy the whole China policy, or have them manage it, how serious could you really be about succeess?

Look, this is like starting a war. Its not enough to ask “would it be nice to win such a war”, we need to ask “can we actually win?” Don’t start what you can’t finish.