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Locking down too much or too little? Why our leaders will end up damned whatever they do

While the epidemiology of the disease is still unfolding, the ruinous economics of the treatment is already clear. Our politicians will end up condemned no matter what course they take

By Tom Clark   May 2020

Macron during a visit to a filed hospital. Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

It is a virus that affects the typical patient for a matter of days, and yet the response we have settled on is going to affect us for decades. After an initially shambling and sluggish reaction in western capitals to the turn-of-the-year news that a novel virus was at large in China—which in the case of President Trump continued well into March (“the virus will not have a chance against us”)—most political leaders abruptly pulled a screeching handbrake turn. With scarce dissent or even discussion about the long-term consequences, they…

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