Public Health

Inslee v. De Blasio: Coronavirus Responses, Good and Bad

As it turns out, telling New Yorkers not to worry about the virus was a really bad idea.

The state of Washington seems to be a model of success in dealing with the coronavirus. What can we learn from that experience?  And how did Washington’s approach differ from that of another hotspot with about the same population, New York City? Let’s begin by taking a look at how the situation developed in Washington. …

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Responses to COVID-19 : An International Comparison.

What can we learn from other countries’ efforts to control the virus?

Countries around the world have taken different pathways in responding to coronavirus. We can learn from their experiences– sometimes what to avoid, sometimes what we might do in the next phase of disease response. We should be starting to get a sense of what works, although a lot of rigorous study will be necessary to …

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Is Saving Lives Unconstitutional?  A Response to John Yoo

Takings law is complicated, but the answer to this question is clear. The answer is no.

Like others on the extreme right, the Hoover Institution is campaigning against “stay at home” orders because they cost too much money.  Regrettably, the most recent argument to this effect on their website is by my colleague John Yoo.  He argues that the Constitution requires states to compensate business owners for their losses. That’s simply …

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Interpreting Models of Coronavirus Spread

Coronavirus

Models are crucial to making policy decisions during the epidemic, but you have to know how to use them.

This post works through an exercise in how to use and interpret models of disease spread.   Here are the takeaways for policy analysis: You need to know about a model’s sensitivity.  Particularly in settings where the specific numbers really matter, such as forecasting how many hospital beds will be needed, it’s important to take into …

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Transit-Oriented Development Shouldn’t Be A Coronavirus Casualty

California still needs more housing close to transit.

In recent weeks, California has emerged as one center of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it continues to face challenges that existed long before the disease reached the state.  Two serious ones: how California will meet its ever more stringent greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and how the state will manage to provide affordable housing for …

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Uncertainty in the Age of Coronavirus

There’s a lot we don’t know at this point. How should we deal with that?

Knowledge about the coronavirus is limited but growing. In the meantime, how should we cope with this uncertainty?  I can’t give you psychological advice, but I can say something about how to think about this uncertainty. How to make decisions under uncertainty is something we know a lot about from the environmental sphere. Uncertainty is …

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