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Government’s Proper Role During COVID-19 Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to impact every aspect of human life, government has assumed a key role in the fight against the pandemic. Federal, state, and local governments are implementing directives intended to enforce social distancing, stimulate the economy, and address medical shortages, among other measures.

In a special installment of our webinar series Philosophy for Living on Earth, I sat down with Onkar Ghate, the Ayn Rand Institute’s chief philosophy officer, and Gregory Salmieri, a lecturer in philosophy at Rutgers University, to discuss government’s proper role in a public health crisis. The discussion covered many aspects of the ongoing pandemic and various governmental responses.

Some of the questions covered in the discussion include:

  • Is the fight against COVID-19 analogous to being in a “state of war”?
  • What role, if any, should government play in addressing the spread of infectious diseases?
  • How should an individual think about issues of aging, death, and quality of life during a health crisis?
  • Should government weigh the lives of some citizens against others when making decisions about how to handle the pandemic?

Stay tuned for future installments of our webinar series, where we’ll continue to analyze the effects of the pandemic from the principled perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. And please consider donating to ARI if you value our unique and rational evaluation of this crisis.

Watch the full discussion between Ghate, Salmieri, and myself below:

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Paul Taske

Paul Taske, J.D., is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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