White House economists published a study last September that warned a pandemic disease could kill a half million Americans and devastate the economy. It went unheeded inside the administration.
One of the authors of the study, who has since left the White House, now says it would make sense for the administration to effectively shut down most economic activity for two to eight months to slow the virus.
Outside economists have been pumping out analyses on the optimal length of a shutdown almost daily. One that has been shared with officials inside the White House comes from Anna Scherbina, an author of the 2019 study who is now an economist at Brandeis University and the American Enterprise Institute.
Anna Scherbina is a visiting scholar at AEI. Here is her working paper on determining the optimal duration of the COVID-19 suppression policy.
Another AEI scholar, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who was Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Trump Administration, has co-authored a new report on a national COVID-19 surveillance system.
Dr. Gottlieb has reportedly been talking with lawmakers about crafting legislation to put his surveillance system in place.
That paper was co-authored with Mark McClellan, another former FDA commissioner (under George W. Bush) who used to be a scholar at AEI as well as the Brookings Institution.
Here is a link to all of AEI's COVID-19 coverage, including its COVID-19 Action Tracker.