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Be Frank on What to Expect

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addresses the daily coronavirus response briefing flanked by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

According to scientific experts, there’s good news and bad news on the COVID-19 Pandemic. The good news is that social distancing measures will succeed in “flattening the curve”, allowing a return to most aspects of normal life—probably some time this summer. The bad news is that the Coronavirus may come roaring back: based on the deadly pattern of the 1918 Spanish Flu, we’re likely to face another upsurge in deadly infections as summer turns to fall—an upsurge that would hit just weeks before the presidential election.

Public health officials will surely demand new school and business closures, but second-round restrictions might prove enormously unpopular—placing the president and other leaders in a perilous, painful position. The best way to avoid the dilemma is to be frank with the public about what lies ahead—making it clear that some relaxation over the summer won’t mean total, final victory over the pandemic.

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