Building access to the Regenstrief Institute is restricted at least through July 5, 2020. More on our coronavirus precautions.
See our coronavirus precautions.

Regenstrief Institute Vice President for Faculty and Development Aaron Carroll, M.D., contributed a pair of opinion pieces to the New York Times urging state leaders to follow the recommendations of public health experts as they work toward reopening the economy.

In the first article, Dr. Carroll explained that many predictive models show that once an outbreak has peaked, it resolves quickly. However, he points to evidence from other countries that indicates the COVID-19 outbreak does not fit such a pattern. In fact, cases are not declining nearly as fast as they rose and in some cases are plateauing rather than declining.

It’s too soon to reopen states

Dr. Carroll wrote that many leaders are acting as if the original models still hold, which he believes is a mistake. He stated that the rates of COVID-19 transmission are not low enough to think that the pandemic is under control, regardless of what models predicted.

He wrote, “Leaders are overestimating how far they’ve come, and they’re underestimating what it will take to manage Covid-19 in a more close-to-normal world. Failure to properly prepare will either result in a surge of infections and all the negative health and health care system ramifications that come with it, or a second round of sheltering in place much sooner than anyone expects. Neither is a good outcome.”

There’s only one way to reopen the economy

In his second article, he presented a case that leaders are not faced with a choice between saving the economy and saving lives. He argues that the only way to save the economy is to take steps that also save lives. The economy is dependent on people, and just because businesses reopen does not mean that customers will return. Dr. Carroll believes because of both the fear and the risk of transmission, the best strategy is to follow the advice of public health officials when making decisions about reopening businesses.

Since early in the pandemic, Dr. Carroll has warned about the potential of the virus to overwhelm the healthcare system and has been an advocate for nationwide social distancing and mass testing of the population as a means to contain the virus.

Read his articles:

It’s Too Soon to Reopen States.

There’s Really Only One Way to Reopen the Economy


Related Influence

May 18, 2020 • Influence
Regenstrief president shares data exchange experience with Becker’s Hospital Review
Becker’s Hospital Review interviewed Regenstrief President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Embí, M.D., about the statewide data sharing effort to gather information on COVID-19. Dr. Embí played a major role to lead the collaborative effort among state agencies, academic institutions and the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) to create a visual dashboard displaying hospitalizations, demographics,…
Continue Reading >
May 14, 2020 • Influence
Regenstrief researcher leads in COVID-19 testing
An ongoing study led by Regenstrief research scientist and Indiana University’s Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI (FSPH) faculty member Nir Menachemi, PhD, MPH, has released preliminary population-level data on COVID-19’s spread through Indiana. In a recent press conference alongside Governor Eric J. Holcomb, Dr. Menachemi discussed the early findings of the study. Among…
Continue Reading >