The COVID-19 pandemic is the single greatest global peacetime catastrophe that humanity has suffered since the end of the Second World War. Barely months into what promises to be a multiyear disaster, the pandemic has already cost America alone over 100,000 lives, tens of millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars in lost output, income, and wealth. The ultimate toll for the world as a whole from this pandemic — both the direct and the indirect consequences — may still lie beyond imagining.
How did such a terrible calamity befall humanity? This grave question is not only an epidemiological puzzle. It …
This article appears as “China Unquarantined” in the June 22, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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