'We Make the Weather': Why Voluntary Cooperation Is Key To Battling Coronavirus

Dr. Jeremy S. Faust talks about battling COVID-19 in the emergency room and how to safely reopen American society.


What's it like serving on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus pandemic? And what have the federal, state, and local responses to COVID-19 gotten right and wrong so far?

To answer those and other questions, Nick Gillespie turned to Dr. Jeremy S. Faust of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where he trains emergency room doctors and is pulling daily shifts treating patients who have COVID-19. 

Faust stresses that attempts to reopen businesses, schools, and other parts of everyday life will need to based on local conditions and that effective containment has to rely on the voluntary participation of people who are given reliable information rather than bullied by political and medical authorities. "It's not a weather system that we can track beginning, middle, and end," says Faust. "We make the weather. If people believe in what their participation is, it's a hell of a lot easier to achieve [containment] than through some sort of draconian enforcement."

Faust also co-hosts the FOAM Podcast about ER and coronavirus issues, and writes for Brief19, a daily review of COVID-19 research and policy.