NR Webathon

Rising to the Challenge

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To keep you informed, we bring in fresh perspectives from all disciplines and all parts of the world.

As the managing editor of NationalReview.com — which is now engaged in a short-term webathon (seeking to raise $100,000 by next weekend) — one of my primary responsibilities is working with the editorial team to bring in new writers with new perspectives to supplement the work of our crack team of staff writers. During normal, happier times, this part of the job can be an interesting way to keep tabs on the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a challenge we take extremely seriously. Keeping you, the reader, informed means publishing analysis and commentary by subject-matter experts — and making sure their writing is grounded in the truth. To continue doing that, we need your help.

We don’t have any medical doctors on staff. But we’ve brought in writers to supplement the invaluable work of our Robert VerBruggen on the scientific literature and Andrew C. McCarthy on the fatality rate. Joel Zinberg, a surgeon at Mount Sinai and a former member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has written an overview of the virus’s properties and a clarion call (along with Mario Loyola) for universal testing. Jonathan Ellen, an epidemiologist and former Johns Hopkins public-health professor, has written about the need for a flexible federal strategy to combat the virus. Linda Halderman, a medical doctor and former state legislator, had an important piece on the utility of masks. Colonel Randall Larsen, an adviser for the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, charted a path forward for policymakers. David Shaywitz, a biologist and doctor-turned-entrepreneur, has been keeping tabs on the latest developments in the health-care industry. And Philippe Lemoine, who studies philosophy of science, took an in-depth look at the assumptions of the Imperial College London model that’s been guiding government policy.

It’s no secret that we tend to focus on domestic politics. But this is a global crisis with huge ramifications. Accordingly, we’ve ramped up our publication of important and unusual perspectives on foreign affairs. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the pandemic has poured fuel on the simmering global competition between the U.S. and China. Well, weeks ago, Hudson Institute fellow and former Portuguese official Bruno Maçaes penned one of the first analyses of how that would play out. It’s proven to be prescient, and he’s written a follow-up today. On the investigatory side of things, former 1989 Tiananmen Square protester Jianli Yang (with scholar Aaron Rhodes) showed us how the Chinese government maintains its “zero myth” through the repression of free speech. Hoover Institute fellow Michael Auslin made the case that the PRC ought to be held to account. And over in Europe, we’ve been featuring the work of Itxu Díaz, a lacerating observer of the EU’s “smart set.”

National Review is an opinion journal, and unapologetically so. Our writers are sharp, original, and — most important — straight shooters. They don’t pretend to write from an omniscient, quasi-objective perspective, laundering their opinions via slippery prose or underhanded omission. We like to think that our brand of commentary and analysis is fundamentally a more interesting, more honest medium than what you find elsewhere. Yet not all opinions and analyses are created equal: the most defensible ones are grounded in facts and strong reasoning. We maintain rigorously high standards for all our writers, whether they’re on staff or not, and we have a hard-working editorial team that works behind the scenes and around the clock to make sure we’re delivering the product that our readers deserve.

All that work costs money, and we can’t continue to do it without your support. The current economic downturn (another subject that we’ve covered, both in-house and beyond) won’t spare many people, or businesses. But we think our journalism is more valuable in times of crisis, and — at the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing — we hope that NR has risen to the challenge of the present moment. If you agree, then please rise to my challenge and contribute to our work.

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