Public Health Threats and Pandemics
The coronavirus pandemic has not been an advertisement for the healthy effects of democracy. There have been some notable success stories among democracies, but it is also true that nine out of the ten nations with the highest cumulative COVID-19 cases are democracies. One possibility is that the mechanisms that ordinarily produce better health in democracies—accountability through free and fair elections and freedom of expression—may not function to produce the same result in a pandemic. In this Council on Foreign Relations roundtable, Drs. John Gerring and Ilona Kickbusch discuss this possibility and their work from a new BMJ series on democracy and health.