Do masks really protect us? Are children less vulnerable to COVID-19? And why do scientists hope you avoid indoor bars? This week, GZERO World is taking all of our burning questions about the latest in the pandemic to a Harvard epidemiologist. Marc Lipsitch is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics. So, he knows his stuff!
Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:
Will Hungary's move to end "rule by decree" minimize Viktor Orban's authority?
Well, the answer to that one is no. They have evidently felt the need for some facelift on the nature of what is going on in Hungary. They've done that. But it doesn't change anything of the substance. He's ruling in an increasingly authoritarian manner in his country.
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Are we in the middle of a technological revolution?
Yes? I feel like a technological revolution should feel more empowering and exciting. It should feel like something good as opposed to something catastrophic. But if you define it as a moment when there's a lot of technological change that will last for years or decades, yes. Think about the way that health, education, working from home are going to change. There are lots of inventions right now because of coronavirus that will stick with us.
I continue to see incredible polarization: the United States is a hot mess, a disaster, vs no, best response ever, depending on what side of the political agenda you're on. I think that the US response so far, continues to be mediocre.
The big story: people dying. Trump should not have been a cheerleader. He said less than 100,000 would be great. Now, even the most conservative model the US government is using is now expecting 147,000 deaths by August. Well over 150,000 by election day. Trump will say, if I had done nothing, we would have 2.2 million deaths, framing for advertising. But it's hard to sell that.
What will digital contact tracing apps look like and how will they work?
Well, the basic idea is that if you opt in to one of these apps, your phone will use Bluetooth, it will scan, look for other devices that are also being used by people who have opted in. If one of you test positive for coronavirus, the other will get a notification and can then take corrective action. There are a lot of different ways these are being built, but that's the idea.