Romer on Testing

Senior Fellow Paul Romer on COVID-19 testing:

If the main measure of policy success or failure were deaths, an increase in the number of cases would not matter. Under the current circumstances, an increase in the number of cases is likely to be interpreted as a sign of a policy failure. This increases the political cost to the administration of increasing the number of tests. A second-best solution that avoids this cost might be to use at home tests and encourage people to self-isolate. This way, the results from the tests need not generate any new confirmed cases.

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