The Schar School of Policy and Government’s COVID-19 Webinar Week continued with “Infection Control and Surge Capacity in Hospitals and Health Systems in a Pandemic.” Some 80 viewers tuned in to hear U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Schar School Associate Professors Laurie Schintler and Bonnie Stabile, and Schar School PhD in Biodefense graduate and Arizona hospital system epidemiologist Saskia Popescu.
The experts discussed public policy, infectious disease control, and economic models in a pandemic in the hour-long midafternoon webinar. Popescu, coming straight from a virtual interview on Good Morning America, provided the view from inside hospitals, giving viewers insights into the economic hardships of cancelling elective surgeries and taking on large quantities of severely ill patients.
Schintler—who is director of the Schar School’s Master’s in Transportation, Policy, Operations, and Logistics program and of Data and Technology Research Initiatives in the Center for Regional Analysis—provided an analysis of how China handled its surge of COVID-19 casualties. Moderator Stabile, director of the Master’s in Public Policy program and the Gender and Policy Center, considered the data-driven side of the pandemic and strongly questioned government leaders who insist they “have the data” that permits them to open up their regions from the lockdown.
Beyer drew the audience to the policy issues behind the pandemic, describing the difficulties of getting hospital supplies into Virginia and the country’s heavy reliance on medical goods from China.
Here is the schedule for the rest of the week’s coronavirus webinars:
Wednesday, April 29, noon-1 p.m.:
Congress and the Postal Service in a Pandemic
The Postal Service delivers stimulus checks, prescription drugs, medical supplies, the 2020 Census and, come November, mail-in ballots. Listen in as current and former members of Congress discuss the role of Congress in determining the future of the U.S. Postal Service.
Mark J. Rozell, Dean, Schar School of Policy and Government
- Tom Davis, former U.S. Representative (R-Va.; 1994-2008) and Rector of George Mason University
- U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy for a broad range of issues, including the United States Postal Service.
- John M. McHugh, former U.S. Representative (R-NY), was chairman of the Oversight Committee's Postal Service Subcommittee for six years, and worked to pass legislation to significantly reform the U.S. Postal Service for the first time since it was demoted from a Cabinet-rank department with passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (Pub.L. 109–435) in 2006.
Register for the Zoom session
Wednesday, April 29, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.:
Stimulating an Economy in a Pandemic
Steven Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public Affairs in the Schar School, won a Pulitzer Prize for his Washington Post columns anticipating and explaining the country’s 2008 financial collapse. Mason Economics Professor and Bloomberg columnist Tyler Cowen is the author of one of the country’s most popular economics blogs, Marginal Revolution. Join them in a conversation that explores the depth of the coronavirus crisis, the lasting ramifications, and possible solutions for repairing the inevitable damage.
- Steven Pearlstein, Robinson Professor of Public Affairs at George mason University and Washington Post Columnist
- Tyler Cowen, Economics Professor and Chairman and Faculty Director of the Mercatus Center, Mason’s market-oriented research center
Register for the Webex program.
Thursday, April 30, noon-1 p.m.:
National Intelligence and International Security Amid a Pandemic
Gathering intelligence is difficult in the best of times, but how do the country’s intelligence agencies operate during a global lockdown? How will the jobs of intelligence professionals change after the crisis? Join a conversation between two longtime intelligence leaders as they examine the state of intelligence during a pandemic.
Laurence Pfeiffer, Director, Hayden Center
- Michael Morell, Schar School Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security, former Acting Director and Deputy Director of the CIA
- Glenn Gerstell, former General Counsel of the National Security Agency
Register for the Webex session.
Friday, May 1, noon-1p.m.:
Crisis and Power-Grabbing: Government Expansion of Power During the Pandemic
National leaders in the U.S. and elsewhere are exploiting the coronavirus lockdown to their own benefit. The “elites” are expanding their power over citizens, siphoning money, and creating social discord that may undermine efforts to recover from the crisis. Corruption has never had it so good.
Bassam Haddad, Schar School Associate Professor and Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program
- Janine Wedel, Schar School Professor of International Commerce and Policy and Author of Shadow Elite
- Jennifer Victor, Schar School Associate Professor of Political Science and an Expert in Social Network Analysis
Register for the Zoom program.