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A Pandemic of Planning

The coronavirus pandemic intensified concerns that the United States was ill‐​prepared for disaster. Many bemoaned the absence of a plan for what seemed like a predictable crisis. A bipartisan bill now before the Senate, the PREVENT Pandemics Act, contains mandates and funds for new pandemic planning.

Yet, there is little evidence that America’s failures in the pandemic came from a lack of planning. If anything, the crisis highlighted the incredible proliferation of federally mandated pandemic plans across all levels of government and the private sector. The abundance of these often-conflicting plans was both the result and symptom of the increasing number of government pandemic response authorities. The spread of both government planning and planning authorities inhibited a coherent response to the crisis.

Read the full piece on Cato’s website.