The big news on May 12, 2020 was the apparent dissonance between President Trump and his expert on the COVID-19 epidemic, Dr. Fauci. President Trump has been encouraging the states to let economic activity resume, stating “We did the right thing…but now we have to get it back open.” Dr Fauci warned Congress about “the danger of trying to open the country prematurely” that would “risk needless suffering and death.” They are both right. A recent essay asked why it is that economists and public health experts cannot understand each other. Its very valid point was that “[u]nlike epidemiologists, who identify a biological enemy and try to defeat it without thinking much about the costs, economists live on trade-offs [and] embrace the hardheaded reality that helping one person often leaves another less well-off” Both disciplines train practitioners to think systematically, to develop mathematical models to explore how policy interventions might change the future, to rely on data when possible, and to use their expertise to recommend interventions with the potential to improve outcomes.... Read More