Summary of Restarting America Means People Will Die

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Coronavirus mitigation exacts a high price. Businesses close. People self-isolate. Schools and churches shutter amid mass unemployment and an impending recession. At some point, kids must go back to school, businesses reopen and life begin again. Americans, like people in other affected countries, must find the difficult balance between preventing COVID-19 deaths and repairing damage to the economy and to daily life. In this ethics panel discussion from The New York Times Magazine, bioethicist Zeke Emanuel and other experts raise powerful and difficult moral questions.

About the Author

Emily Bazelon, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, moderated this panel discussion.



The coronavirus pandemic makes envisioning the United States’ future difficult.

When you’re immersed in the lockdown precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic, what is the best way to contemplate what will happen in the future? That was the crux of this New York Times Magazine ethics discussion with this panel of experts:

  • Rev. Dr. William J. Barber – President of the nonprofit Repairers of the Breach.
  • Anne Case – Princeton University professor emeritus of economics and public affairs and co-author of The Death of Despair and the Future of Capitalism.
  • Zeke Emanuel – University of Pennsylvania vice provost for global initiatives, director of UP’s Healthcare Transformation Institute and author of Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?
  • Vanita Gupta – President and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
  • Peter Singer – Princeton University bioethics professor and author of The Life You Can Save.
  • Emily Bazelon...

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