The topics were timely and the insights were illuminating, and when the week was over, more than 1,300 viewers had tuned in for a series of six Schar School webinars addressing different aspects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The afternoon sessions aired each day from April 27 through May 1. Schar School professors and guest experts examined the crisis from a variety of angles, including lockdown exit strategies, weaknesses in the healthcare system, and government corruption fomented by the pandemic.
"The webinars showcased the expertise that our multi-disciplinary faculty brings to current policy debates about responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, from the perspectives of public health and safety, national security, government powers, and reviving the economy,” said Schar School dean Mark J. Rozell, who hosted the programs. “Given all of the misinformation and politically-motivated posturing being spread now, the Schar School performed a valuable public service by presenting these solid research-based analyses."
The big draw was the Thursday session, National Intelligence and International Security in a Pandemic, featuring Michael Morell, Schar School Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security, and former Acting Director and Deputy Director of the CIA; and Glenn Gerstell, former General Counsel of the National Security Agency. Some 600 viewers tuned in for the conversation, which made headlines when Morell commented on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announcement that the coronavirus is not manmade. See the recording of the discussion.
Recaps and recordings of three of the discussions are available for viewing.
Exit Strategies from a Pandemic: Schar School Professor and Economist Maurice D. Kugler and Professor and Neurobiologist James Olds weighed the benefits and drawbacks of the most likely options.
Stimulating an Economy in a Pandemic: Robinson Professor of Public Affairs and Washington Post Columnist Steven Pearlstein, and Tyler Cowen, economics professor and chairman and faculty director of the Mercatus Center, Mason’s market-oriented research center debate how and when to reopen the economy.
Crisis and Power-Grabbing: Government Expansion of Power During the Pandemic: Schar School Associate Professor and U.S. legislative politics expert Jennifer Victor, Professor and European governance expert Janine Wedel, and Associate Professor and Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies program Bassam Haddad reveal coronavirus-cloaked corruption around the world.
See here for a recap of the session Congress and the Postal Service in a Pandemic, featuring U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), former U.S. Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY), and former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), each of whom serve or served on congressional Postal Service oversight committees. Davis is also rector of George Mason University.
See here for a recap of Infection Control and Surge Capacity in Hospitals and Health Systems in a Pandemic featuring 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.