What Could Possibly Go Wrong with Trump’s Latest Coronavirus Idea?
“Herd immunity” seems to be gaining ground in the White House as a coronavirus strategy. The idea is to protect the vulnerable population, while letting the virus run its course among the rest. The disease then dies out because so many people are immune. What could possibly go wrong? In theory, this idea would work, …CONTINUE READING
No Acknowledgment of the Biggest Environmental Existential Threat We’ve Ever Faced
Hurricane Laura is barreling down on Louisiana and Texas, bringing with it “unsurvivable storm surges” and “life-threatening hazards” to parts of the Gulf Coast. Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards is imploring residents to evacuate: “This is a very serious storm — I don’t think I have ever held a press conference to take something as seriously …CONTINUE READING
What have we learned about dealing with mega-risks?
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has driven home some lessons about governance. Those lessons have broader application — for instance, to climate governance. We can’t afford for the federal government to flunk Crisis Management 101 again. Here are five key lessons: 1. Effective leadership from the top is indispensable. Major problems require action by …CONTINUE READING
Despite Trump’s efforts to save it, the most environmentally destructive fuel is fading quickly.
In the 2016 election, Trump pledged to save coal. Since then, his Administration has pulled out all the stops in this effort, including repeal of dozens of environmental regulations. All for naught. In 2021, U.S. coal use will be 30% below what it is when Trump took office. Coal’s immediate situation is even worse, due …CONTINUE READING
The newest addition to Trump’s coronavirus task force is a faux expert who just happens to share all of Trump’s views.
President Trump has added a new member to his coronavirus task force, Dr. Scott Atlas. It’s no wonder that Trump loves Dr. Atlas, a retired Stanford radiologist who frequently appears on Fox. Atlas thinks “we are committing national suicide” if we continue serious health precautions against the coronavirus. Here are more of Dr. Atlas’s dubious …CONTINUE READING
The Administration’s management harkens back to a spectacular business collapse at the turn of the century.
Think of this as a parable. I’ll draw out some parallels at the end with the Trump Administration’s handling of the coronavirus, as detailed in a story in Sunday’s Washington Post. But first I’ll let you make some of the connections yourself. The Trump team’s triumph in 2016 was one of the great upsets in …CONTINUE READING
Why is he investing so much in something so draconian and so unnecessary?
As part of their proposed stimulus package, Senators John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell introduced a bill that gives almost complete immunity protection to businesses that fail to take precautions against the coronavirus. It’s called the “Safe to Work Act,” but really should be called the “Work at Your Own Risk Act.” McConnell says he won’t …CONTINUE READING
There were basic errors in organizing the White House pandemic response. It’s a teachable moment in crisis management.
The rap has been that the White House just ignored medical experts and left everything to the politicos. A NY Times story over the weekend reveals that the story was more complicated. It discloses basic failures in management and crisis response since early in the coronavirus outbreak. Those failures should be heeded by future leaders. …CONTINUE READING
When does public health override individual rights?
Lockdowns and social distancing impinge on activities that are protected by the Constitution. That’s been true in many states of church services and in some states of abortion. When the cases have come before they courts, they have often turned to a 1905 Supreme Court case decision, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which upheld a state law …CONTINUE READING
Yes, he was at fault, but it’s complicated.
In a column about a week ago, Paul Krugman pointed to the dire consequences of the reopenings in the Sunbelt and laid the blame entirely on Trump. He viewed it as “case of Republican governors following Trump’s lead.” The “main driving force,” he said, was Trump’s reelection strategy. There’s some truth to that, but it’s …CONTINUE READING