Each week, Freethink's Progress Report explores what the solutions of today will mean for your tomorrow.
In this episode, we attempt to answer a question on all of our minds: what will it take for routines to return back to normal in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns?
There are lots of ideas and opinions, so we interviewed a Nobel Prize-winning economist who has already outlined and published a concrete plan. Dr. Paul Romer thinks the best way to move forward is more testing, specifically, testing all U.S. citizens for COVID-19 every two weeks.
Romer, creator of the Roadmap to Responsibly Reopen America, says that to pull this off we'll need to scale up to 20-30 million tests per day. But first, we'd have to remove FDA barriers so the economy can produce such a massive quantity of tests.
Romer explains, "We produce 350 million cans worth of soda every day because the value of soda...to some people is worth more than the cost of producing the soda, so the economy produces them. The tests would be worth an enormous amount right now."
Romer's roadmap also proposes a national "test and isolate" strategy in which only those who are infected would be isolated. Could this be enough to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay?