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1/ Lockdowns were a blunt & indiscriminate tool that slowed infections, but with no clear strategy for what came afterwards. We know enough now about how to bring down infections at a much lower cost to the economy. My latest.
2/ We had never used lockdowns before, not even during the 1918 flu. Pre-Covid, they were seen as too draconian and difficult to enforce and thus weren't part of the epidemiological toolkit.
3/ The U.S. missed its chance to emulate HK, Taiwan & SK using testing, tracing & quarantine to stop the pandemic without Covid. But nor did it make a clear choice between simply flattening the curve and allowing infections to continue, as Sweden did ....
4/ ... or suppressing the disease, regardless of cost to economy or freedoms, as China and New Zealand did. Trump didn't want to stick with lockdowns beyond six weeks and even Democrats like Calif. Gov. Newsom succumbed to local pressure to reopen.
5/ This suggests we need an alternative to lockdowns that is politically sustainable while holding the reproductive rate below 1. Fortunately, those alternatives exist. My article highlights a comprehensive approach by James Stock at Harvard and @michaelmina_lab ...
6/ ... that utilizes sectoral and demographic risk data to reopen highest-economic-benefit, lowest-health-risk sectors and activities. This achieves better GDP & fewwer deaths than the alternatives. (More detail here: brookings.edu/bpea-articles/…) /endit.
correction: The U.S. missed its chance to emulate HK, Taiwan & SK using testing, tracing & quarantine to stop the pandemic without *lockdowns*.
By the way here's a link to the story which I forgot to add to the first tweet: wsj.com/articles/covid…
Also, here's the latest version of the paper on smart reopening by James Stock, @michaelmina_lab et al. scholar.harvard.edu/stock/publicat…
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