Coronavirus Could Normalize Authoritarianism

By Arun Gupta (Feburary 25, 2020)

The coronavirus is an extremely dangerous moment.

Not really for the spread of the virus; there is nothing really that can be done to stop it at this point from becoming a pandemic. But from governments “locking down” entire cities, closing borders, and in effect using military and police to impose martial law.

The virus, sensationalistic media, and mass panic combine to normalize public-health authoritarianism. Blocking international travel and exchange will only make the situation worse by hindering the response, preventing shipments of vital medical supplies, and encouraging countries to conceal outbreaks as they don’t want to be the next one to have bans placed on them. It also encourages xenophobia and nativism.

If there is a silver lining, it’s the potential disruption of global supply chains could trigger a recession that would doom Trump.