ISMAIL LAGARDIEN: America First and ‘economy first’ are not the only options
It is possible to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic without resorting to binaries
There’s an interesting though not entirely unsurprising dichotomy emerging around opening the economy or sustaining the lockdown, or at least some restrictive measures. This is a false dichotomy. It is possible to both save the economy and prevent the Covid-19 virus from spreading, infecting more people and causing more deaths.
The interesting part is an alignment of public intellectuals behind the position that may best be described as “economy first”. The unsurprising part is that it’s the usual suspects: free marketers, market fundamentalists, economic rationalists, rightist libertarians and good old John Birch Society (JBS) types, with their fiercely ideological opposition to the UN system.