Foreign Policy  |  February 23, 2020

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When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus epidemic “a public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC), more than 70 countries responded by imposing travel restrictions against China. Global health experts overwhelmingly decry travel and trade restrictions as bad policy and irresponsible violations of international law. Yet governments continue to implement them, even though scientific evidence—and economic self-interest—advises otherwise. If experts can’t reliably prevent such restrictions, they must take steps to mitigating their most harmful effects.

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