COVID-19

News coverage, academic research and more on the coronavirus pandemic from experts at The Pearson Institute.

The Washington Post

11.19.20

Stimulus funds really do keep people home, our research finds

With coronavirus rates surging, elected officials in both red and blue states are again considering new restrictions on households and businesses. Some governors and mayors have imposed new shelter-in-place orders as a last-ditch measure to avoid overloading hospitals beyond their capacity. But lockdowns remain controversial. New survey data suggests that just half of Americans would comply with a month-long stay-at-home order; a third would refuse, up from just 15 percent in April.

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The New York Times

10.22.20

America and the Virus: ‘A Colossal Failure of Leadership’

A conservative commentariat echoed Trump in downplaying the virus and deriding efforts to stay safe. Brit Hume of Fox News mocked Joe Biden for wearing a large mask, and the right-wing website RedState denounced “the public health Gestapo” and called Dr. Anthony Fauci a “mask Nazi.” A University of Chicago study found that watching the Sean Hannity program correlated to less social distancing, so watching Fox News may well have been lethal to some of its fans.

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UChicago News

10.21.20

Who does (or doesn’t) wear a mask? Partisanship explains COVID-19 responses

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the United States, face masks remain far from universal. The biggest explanation? Political partisanship. A recent working paper from scholars at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy studies the use of face masks—a cornerstone of the public health guidance to stem the spread of COVID-19—to show how partisanship has undermined America’s response to the collective risk of the pandemic.

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UChicago News

10.05.20

Who is at fault for COVID-19 crisis? Most Americans blame U.S. government, survey says

More Americans say the actions of the United States government caused the coronavirus situation in the country than attribute it to the policies of foreign governments or the World Health Organization.

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The Hill

10.05.20

Poll: More blame US government than foreign nations for coronavirus crisis

More than half of Americans blame the federal government for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a higher number than those who said they primarily blamed foreign governments such as China for the disease's spread.

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AP-NORC Center

10.05.20

More Americans Blame U.S. Government than other countries or WHO for the Coronavirus Crisis

More Americans say the actions of the United States government caused the coronavirus situation in the country than attribute it to the policies of foreign governments or the World Health Organization. This is among the findings of a new UChicago Harris/AP-NORC Poll being released in conjunction with the 2020 Pearson Global Forum, a virtual event that brings together researchers and policymakers to develop strategies to prevent and resolve international conflicts.

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AP

10.05.20

Americans fault US govt over foreign powers for virus crisis

More Americans blame the U.S. government instead of foreign nations for the coronavirus crisis in the United States, a rebuke to the Trump administration’s contention that China or other countries are most at fault, a new poll shows.

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The New Yorker

09.14.20

Is Russian Meddling as Dangerous as We Think?

Another study, by economists at the University of Chicago and elsewhere, suggested a disparity in health outcomes between areas where Fox News viewers primarily tuned in to Tucker Carlson, who, among Fox hosts, spoke early and with relative urgency about the danger of covid-19, and places where viewers preferred Sean Hannity, who spent weeks downplaying its severity. The economists found that, in March, viewership of Hannity over Carlson, in the locales they studied, was associated with a thirty-two-per-cent increase in infections, and a twenty-three-per-cent increase in covid-19-related deaths.

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Financial Express

09.07.20

No country can risk a K-shaped recovery

Acemoglu and Robinson argue that inequality is not predetermined or unstoppable. And it is not the result of economic forces only. It is also the outcome of politics; the institutions of governance and the nature of the relations between civic society and the State.

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Pandemic Economics Podcast

08.20.20

Uncovering the Politics of Mask Usage

What does the 2016 election tell us about mask use in America? Quite a lot. Austin Wright draws on new research and what it can tell us about the relationship between partisanship and wearing a mask.

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The Wall Street Journal

07.30.20

Over Half of Residents in Mumbai’s Slums Were Exposed to Coronavirus, Survey Finds

More than half of the residents in the densely populated slums of India’s financial capital of Mumbai had been exposed to the coronavirus and developed antibodies as of early July, a city-commissioned study has found, sparking a debate over whether more testing is needed in the metropolis.

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Live Mint

07.22.20

The return of workers to cities isn’t a sign of normalcy

As India started to emerge from its lockdown, the exodus of daily-wage labourers from cities to their ancestral homes in rural areas surged. One reason was lack of work, since urban zones faced restrictions on commercial activity. The other was a fear of covid-19. Perhaps as many as 11 million left. As work and economic activity in cities splutters to life, however, we are seeing workers return. This reversal has implications both for the spread of covid and the urban economy.

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NPR

07.02.20

COVID-19 Exploits Cracks In Chilean Society

Chile looked as if it were well prepared to deal with the new coronavirus. It's a rich country — classified as high income by the World Bank. Life expectancy is roughly 80 years — better than the United States'. It has a solid, modern health care system, and when the outbreak began spreading, officials made sure they had plenty of ventilators and intensive care beds at the ready.

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Paul Poast Podcast

07.01.20

How does Covid-19 affect international cooperation? Let us count the ways

#COVID19 is bad for international cooperation, says Professor Poast. Not only does it undermine global health cooperation, but, as viruses are prone to do, it also "spreads" to "infect" other areas of international cooperation.

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South China Morning Post

06.16.20

Could the China-US conflict evolve into two competing spheres of economic influence?

The increasingly contentious relationship between China and the United States is putting pressure on countries to choose sides, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the process of nations stepping away from each other rather than tackling the crisis together.

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Tolo News

06.10.20

Fix NGO Leadership to Make Aid More Effective

The COVID-19 pandemic is straining the resources of non-government organizations (NGOs) to a breaking point. As the extant donor funding is spread thinner, disruptions threaten NGOs’ supply chain for their ongoing humanitarian operations. This further erodes aid effectiveness—a goal whose achievement has met limited success even prior to the pandemic.   

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WBEZ

06.02.20

After Unrest, Groceries Become Scarcer On Chicago’s South Side – And Volunteers Stepped In

Trina Reynolds-Tyler is from Bronzeville, and goes to school in Washington Park. She said she organized the impromptu street food pantry after Chicago Public Schools suspended meal distribution on Monday.  She said they continued on when they realized that the school system only provides enough food for students, not for their entire families to eat.

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Bloomberg

05.31.20

Russia Stimulus Seen Falling Short Despite $123 Billion Plan

Facing the worst recession in more than a decade, Vladimir Putin plans to roll out a spending plan to rival stimulus packages in other major economies. The Russian president’s government says the plan envisions support equivalent to a 10th of annual economic output. But analysts from Bloomberg Economics and some of Wall Street’s biggest banks say the level is actually much smaller.

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Paul Poast Podcast

05.30.20

Pandemic War and Peace

Foreign policy experts are at odds over whether the pandemic will lead to global peace or to a new Cold War between the US and China. Paul Poast looks at both ends of the continuum and brings Hong Kong into the mix. 

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The Washington Post

05.28.20

If employers require workers to have antibodies, people will try to get sick

The idea of issuing “immunity passports” to individuals with covid-19 antibodies continues to attract both interest and controversy. Estonia and Chile are both moving forward with plans to test their own immunity-passport programs, and top infectious disease expert Anthony S. Fauci says U.S. officials have discussed the idea too. The private sector is likely to beat the federal government to the punch. Start-ups like FaceFirst and Onfido are pitching the idea of app-based immunity registries to businesses, several Miami hotels are reportedly rolling out an immunity app with their staff and guests next month and Delta Air Lines has expressed interest as well.

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La República

05.28.20

El vivo es el bobo en la pandemia

En Colombia y América Latina, como lo muestra Mauricio García Villegas en 'El orden de la libertad' , hay pocos personajes más admirados que el “vivo”. Ese que aparece desde los cuentos infantiles (con frecuencia un conejo) enseñando que “el vivo vive del bobo”, que “al camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente” y que “no hay que dar papaya”. Claro, y a papaya dada, ¡papaya partida!

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I-CONnect Blog

05.26.20

COVID-19 and the Bound Executive

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a wide variety of governmental responses as it makes its way around the globe, and scholars have been tracking them from many different angles. In a new paper, we argue that the pandemic response should modify our understanding about the exercise of emergency powers. 

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UChicago News

05.26.20

UChicago scholar’s COVID-19 task force creates innovative solutions in India

Prof. Anup Malani awoke to 350 messages. It was March, and India had just instituted a nationwide lockdown. Weeks earlier, the University of Chicago scholar had formed a global task force to help the country’s government battle the growing spread of COVID-19. The group brainstormed solutions, and now they were waiting for Malani to provide direction.

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Observer-Reporter

05.26.20

Individual freedom and public health

The recent political treatise, “The Narrow Corridor, States, Society and the Fate of Liberty,” by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, is instructive on this issue. The book’s premise, after examining political systems throughout history, is that democracy is a delicate and fragile outcome. It requires both a strong state and individual liberty in a strong society. It can only endure when the two remain in perfect balance, on either side of the narrow corridor that exists between them. The default political condition when the narrow corridor is breached becomes either despotism if the central state wins out or anarchy if the state is defeated.

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Pandemic Economics Podcast

05.21.20

Superspreaders

Does visiting a bookstore put you at greater risk for infection than a fast-food restaurant? As states loosen lockdown restrictions on businesses, Katherine Baicker and Oeindrila Dube have developed a measure of which businesses pose the greatest risk for spreading disease based on factors like crowding, length of stay, and potential for touch contact.

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Politico

05.19.20

How Russia’s Coronavirus Crisis Got So Bad

In all of Putin’s six addresses to the nation, he has never once mentioned support of big state enterprises. Konstantin Sonin, an economist and professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, says this was for a simple reason: There’s no need. “The entire Russian system is based on supporting Russian big state business. All the tools already exist: You go to the president or cabinet to ask for something, like preferential loans, at any time. These companies already have so many opportunities to do this that there is no need to come up with any new procedures.”

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Live Mint

05.18.20

Our youth may not shield us from high covid mortality

As India and several other countries contemplate opening up their economies, one argument that supports the strategy of a gradual release from lockdown is that the country’s young demographic profile will act as a protective shield. Covid-19 has had a more severe impact on populations of older adults across countries. In Italy, the likelihood of dying on account of the disease was estimated at 20% among those over age 80, but less than 0.5% among those below 50. The corresponding figures for South Korea are 13% and 0.5%. Areas where older demographic groups form a higher share of the total population are thus likely to see higher deaths and a higher fatality rate overall.

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CBC Radio

05.15.20

Researchers use smartphone data to determine which businesses are potential COVID-19 'super-spreaders'

A team of researchers in the U.S. is working to determine what kinds of businesses are safe to visit, and which ones could be super-spreaders of COVID-19, as select businesses reopen in parts of the country. Oeindrila Dube, a University of Chicago professor, is part of a team using anonymous smartphone location data from April 2019 provided by U.S.-based data tracking firms Safegraph and Veraset, which gather location data primarily for market research. The data was used to power an interactive feature in the New York Times.

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VOA News

05.14.20

Pandemic In Russia, Rumblings of Discontent Grow as Oligarchs Move to Plug Gaps

Once they scrambled to grab what they could from a disintegrating Soviet state, exploiting the political and economic chaos of the post-communist Boris Yeltsin era to secure state enterprises, oilfields and mineral deposits at knockdown prices. But now Russia’s uber-wealthy oligarchs are rushing to shore up a failing state effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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La República

05.14.20

Atenidos

La semana pasada le llovieron críticas a la vicepresidenta Marta Lucía Ramírez. Quizás inspirada en John F. Kennedy, pero con peor prosa, dijo que con esta pandemia la cosa no es “atenidos a ver qué hace el gobierno por cada uno de nosotros. Es qué hacemos nosotros para que el país progrese”. Ella respondió disculpándose, aclarando que no se refería a los hogares que reciben un apoyo del Gobierno por la crisis, e insistió en que la sacaron de contexto y no merece el linchamiento mediático.

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Post Register

05.11.20

Businesses defy Little, open early

Idaho’s staged reopening from the stay-home order has opened fault lines across the state, dividing the public, business owners, law enforcement and lawmakers. At the epicenter is Gov. Brad’s Little’s Stay Healthy Order. It details which businesses can reopen on which dates. Most businesses have complied with the order by remaining closed until their assigned time for reopening. Others have chosen to openly violate the order.

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The Eastern Link

05.11.20

Prepare for a Biden Presidency

Paul Poast is faculty affiliate of The Pearson Institute and an associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago. His research, writing, and teaching focus on international politics and security. In this interview with Easternlink Features Editor Uddipana Goswami, he discusses the upcoming US elections and how its outcome is likely to impact the shifts that are occurring in international relations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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KCBS Radio

05.07.20

Which Businesses Will Be Safe from Covid 19 Once They Re-Open

We know some businesses, like some people, can be “super-spreaders” of Covid-19. And as businesses start to reopen you may be wondering which places are you at more risk than others for catching the Covid-19. A new study from the University of Chicago is using past cellphone to try and determine that. For KCBS news anchor Susan Leigh Taylor spoke with Oeindrila Dube, University of Chicago Professor of Global Conflict Studies and study co-author.

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Bloomberg

05.06.20

India Looks to Lure More Than 1,000 U.S. Companies Out of China

India is seeking to lure U.S. businesses, including medical devices giant Abbott Laboratories, to relocate from China as President Donald Trump’s administration steps up efforts to blame Beijing for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.

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The New York Times

05.06.20

Is It Safer to Visit a Coffee Shop or a Gym?

As states begin to reopen, Americans are looking at any trip outside through the lens of contagion. Is it safe to go back to Starbucks? What about the gym? Nail salons are out of the question, right? The country faces an ugly trade-off. Keep the economy closed and prolong the economic misery. Or open up the economy and risk a resurgence of Covid-19, undoing the gains earned through weeks of social isolation. We believe there’s another option.

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London Business School

05.04.20

How lessons from the Ebola crisis can be used to improve outcomes during COVID-19

The role of trust in health care systems has never been more important than during the current outbreak of COVID-19. Elias Papaioannou, Professor of Economics at London Business School and Academic Director of the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development was joined in conversation with Oeindrila Dube, the Philip K. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies at the University of Chicago to discuss how her research in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak has clear messages for national policymakers and the private sector when it comes to coping with the impact of the Coronavirus.

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Bloomberg

05.04.20

The Best Reason to Protect Workers From Covid-19

For many years, economists such as Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson have advanced the theory that differences in institutions cause big differences in national long-term growth and prosperity. According to Acemoglu and Robinson, places with a tradition of inclusion -- democracy, property rights, free labor and so on -- become richer in the long run, while places that abuse workers and citizens to extract maximum short-term value from them become poorer.

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Lawfare

05.03.20

COVID and Cooperation: The Latest Canary in the Coal Mine

The COVID-19 crisis is a global one, and for all the horror stories from Italy, the United States, and other wealthy countries, the developing world is likely to be hit far harder. Containing, mitigating and curing the disease are truly global challenges, but there has been no effective global response. Yale University’s Hilary Matfess and the University of Chicago’s Rebecca Wolfe examine the crisis to assess what it means for global cooperation and argue that U.S. isolationism and efforts to act solely on its own have made a tough problem even harder.

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Chicago Tribune

05.01.20

Why it matters when Gov. J.B. Pritzker wears a mask

President Donald Trump recently called on people to “liberate” states whose governors impose strict social distancing requirements, while scolding Georgia’s governor for reopening his state’s economy “too soon.” In early April, when Americans were instructed to wear protective face masks, the president refused, quipping, “I’d wear one if I thought it was important.” And last weekend White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx indicated social distancing would continue through the summer while Vice President Mike Pence opined that the epidemic would be mostly “behind us” by Memorial Day.

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WBEZ

04.30.20

Study Finds More COVID-19 Cases Among Viewers Of Fox News Host Who Downplayed The Pandemic

An April study about the effects of coronavirus media coverage analyzed two popular Fox News cable programs — and claims how one host talked about the threat of the coronavirus resulted in greater numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

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