Policy Analysis

Rational Policy Strategies for the COVID-19 Pandemic

George Delgado, MD


As we see more COVID-19 cases in the United States, there is much debate about the best strategies to employ to get through the pandemic. Many Americans have relaxed their adherence to mitigation measures (“COVID-19 mitigation fatigue”); some states have rolled back restrictions while others have increased them. We need to move to a more reasoned, rational approach to mitigation that is proportionate and makes sense. [Read More].

An Age Based Recovery Strategy: An Optimal Balance

There is much discussion about recovery plans and the best strategy to return to normal.  The CDC has proposed a phased recovery approach that we have studied in our recovery models for NYC, LA County and Georgia.   Many states are moving out with this phased approach.  Other states are still locked down and are just starting to slowly release.   A recent model published by Penn Wharton present a binary choice between economic recovery and deaths: Penn Wharton Reopening Simulator.

There is a middle way that balances economic growth and recovery with COVID-19 mortality, an approach that allows those who are least vulnerable to get back to normal, a phased approach segregated by age and vulnerability.  Younger age groups are allowed maximum mobility and higher age groups are restricted while the vulnerable are protected.  This allows us to get the economy back on track AND minimize mortality. [Read More].

Georgia: Proceed with Caution

It is difficult to discern whether the reporting on COVID-19 is a function of political bias or ineptitude. What is not difficult to discern is that it is has been mistaken. Based on erroneous analysis, many commentators paint a foreboding future for states loosening COVID-19 restrictions. Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia came under particular fire from the mainstream media, and even, to some extent, from President Donald Trump. But neither Georgia nor most other states have much to worry about, notwithstanding the media criticisms.  [Read More].

Making Houses of Worship Safer than the Supermarket

Many states have not allowed the resumption of religious gatherings due to perceived risk of COVID-19 transmission.  It is our view that resumption of religious services can take place in a manner that does not jeopardize public health. In fact, with proper measures in place, going to one’s church, synagogue or mosque should be much safer than going to the grocery store. It certainly would be safer than going to a “big box” store like Costco that serves thousands of people per day. [Read More].

Controlling the Second Wave

Just as states return to some semblance of normal life, commentators and experts have suddenly predicted a very bleak future for the United States. The CDC, for one, has predicted that COVID-19 mortality will double to 134,000 people. It all sounds so ominous. And yet it does not withstand scrutiny.

Most of these dire predictions assume that people will forgo any preventative measures. This is not credible. People are aware of the lethality of the disease and have changed their behaviors. Government mandate will not affect that. [Read More].

It’s time for New York City to get back to work.

It’s time for New York City to get back to work.  The White House/CDC plan [Guidelines for Opening Up America], which gradually introduces various practices into our daily lives, is measured and prudent. The plan opens the country gradually, from Phase I, which retains many restrictions, through Phase 3, which lifts many limits, and finally back to normal life. This plan has statistical support in the data garnered from both international and domestic studies.  [Read More].

The White House CDC Plan for Recovery

The White House CDC Plan for Opening America Up Again has three phases and some general recommendations that span all three phases.  Modeling the recovery phase in our analysis tool requires quantifying the features of a this phased approach so we can drive inputs into our model space. The weighted table below quantifies the dynamic parameters that we use in our model. [Read More].

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