Emergency Powers and Civil Liberties During a Pandemic

Vigilance toward overweening government is no less important during a pandemic. The Cato Institute’s Patrick Eddington discusses some federal efforts to claim emergency powers with Caleb Brown.

Listen here or go the Cato Institute page.

You can also listen on Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify.

7 thoughts on “Emergency Powers and Civil Liberties During a Pandemic”

  1. “I don’t think there’s any question that the stay at home orders and all the rest of that…are clearly steps that actually need to be taken.” (emphasis added)

    Even as the guest then proceeded to walk back/contradict his disclaimer, the podcast lost me then and there.

    1. Indeed, all the philosophizing libertarians can possibly do does not make Covid-19 less transmissible nor does it make it not a novel zoonotic virus against which humans have no natural immunity. If one’s goal is to minimize the toll of the virus, these two facts necessarily entail social distancing and isolation. And, in fact, the primary goal of social distancing is not to stop the virus. The goal is to maintain ICU carrying capacity, i.e., attempt to prevent ICUs from being overrun by the most serious cases. This carrying capacity is represented by the availability of beds, meds, medical personnel, and, critically, equipment, including PPE for those medical personnel (so they themselves are not stricken, lowering the availability of medical personnel and thus, carrying capacity), and, crucially, obviously, clearly, factually, ventilators.
      X is the number of people who require a ventilator, whether from C19 or other respiratory ailment
      Y is the number of ventilators available.
      If X is smaller than Y, then those requiring ventilators have a chance at living.
      If X is larger than Y, then those requiring ventilators assured death.

      This may be staved off for some time by splitting two patients. But of course, you can imagine the effects on the machine’s efficacy for either patient with a situation that is already touch and go.

        1. What is confusing you? You pointed out that this guest actually said the measures are necessary. I provided some reasons why. Was I wrong to assume you agree with the guest?

          1. Hard to tell if someone is right or wrong when they don’t make sense in the first place.

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