“Intellectually, the greatest benefit I derived from the experience [of working in the office of President Ronald Reagan] was to be able to observe at close range how political decisions are made at the highest level. … I thought that high politics resulted from a careful, inductive process by virtue of which all the information available to the government is conveyed upwards and there subjected to judicious analysis, with all the pros and cons weighed until a decision is reached…. Reality turned out to be quite different.”
Richard Pipes, Ronald Reagan’s adviser
“Vixi: Memoirs of a Non-Belonger”. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003, p. 208
The presented material contains numerous references to articles, papers, data, and books relevant to the current discussions around COVID-19 medical and political responses to the pandemic. The principal purposes of this collection of references are:
- To fill (at least, partly) considerable gaps in current discussions on COVID-19, often based on never proven assumptions, like the feasibility of stopping a respiratory infection by means of lockdowns.
- To present and highlight some crucially important factors that had been discussed in the scientific literature for decades, but totally ignored by most governments in their decision-making – for example, the very strong dependence of healthcare progress on economic progress, and the very strong dependence on both economics and healthcare on safeguarding personal rights and property.
We find an astonishingly strong leaning of politicians and public healthcare officials to never-tested responses, potentially more dangerous than the disease itself. In our opinion, the special interests of decision-making groups may provide a partial explanation of this phenomenon.
We will greatly appreciate our readers’ criticism.