Nassim on CNBC Squawk Box: Global coronavirus response a case study of government incompetence and denial

In a “Squawk Box” interview, Taleb specifically pointed to the importance of coronavirus testing. While countries have improved their capacity since the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, Taleb said there has been a failure to develop quick, efficient testing at a scale that can cut off chains of transmission early. It also has the least economic cost, he said.

Link to the interview:…


  1. It is common for people to have a color marking system, in which red is most prominent danger, orange is less dangerous, etc…
    However, there is a color known as infrared, that is more dangerous than red, because we don’t see that one, though!

  2. The missing ‘detail’ is that many governments have avoided doing a test-trace-isolate system because it is ‘collectivist’: it requires the state to fund and organize a significant public health project to solve a public issue; that both means higher government spending and most ominously demonstrates that public solutions to public problems can work pretty well, as in south Korea or New Zealand.
    Many government instead insisted on individuals taking personal responsibility for not infecting themselves and not infecting others by respecting lock-downs.

    The shameless thatcherite government of the UK even made its central slogan “Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives” and have been blaming ‘irresponsible individuals’ for the spread of infection, rather than their own ideological unwillingness to adopt a public health approach to a public health issue. A 12-25% higher death rate and a big drop in GDP seem to them prices well worth paying for upholding “rugged individualism”.

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