Foreign Policy  |  March 16, 2020

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With the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 reaching pandemic proportions and U.S. President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency, now is a critical moment to learn from countries’ responses thus far and rapidly implement effective strategies to limit the impact of the virus. Yet Americans are at risk of learning the wrong comparative lessons in the face of this global emergency. In times of crisis, authoritarian responses based in high-profile displays of state power can seem attractive. But it is the far less conspicuous public-health work that seems to be separating the effective responses so far.

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