Donald Trump Should Become the Testing President

Carl Juste/TNS via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Tyler Cowen thinks we’re going to reopen America fairly soon regardless of what epidemiologists think:

Any model of optimal policy should be “what should we do now, knowing the lockdown can’t last very long?” rather than “what is the optimal length of lockdown?”

The South Korean model has been endlessly praised, and it seems to have worked pretty well. It basically consists of two things:

  • Masks everywhere
  • Lots of testing and contact tracing

Only the second item is hard, but we could do it if Trump ever got serious about it. It’s a mystery why it seemingly remains on the back burner. It would be an ideal project for the federal government; it would allow Trump to invoke the DPA and other emergency powers; it’s highly public; and it’s something that every epidemiologist says is necessary, which allows Trump to say that he’s following the science. So why so little activity? Why not set a goal of a million tests a day and make a huge public spectacle out of tracking how close we are to our goal? Surely that would be a better campaign tool than daily meltdowns in the press room?

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate