Interviewer: Professor Galbraith, thank
you very much for speaking to us today.
I'd like to record that today is
the 14th of May because we're talking
about what we think should happen in
the future, and therefore I think it's
important that listeners should know
when we're having this conversation.
So Professor Galbraith, let me ask
you straightforwardly: what do you
think governments should do given
the pandemic that we're experiencing,
and what do you think the consequences
will be of governments doing what you
think they should do?
Prof. Galbraith: The first thing that
governments should do is to pay careful
attention to what the public health
authorities believe to be necessary,
and what the best scientific
evidence is for containing and
indeed suppressing the pandemic itself.
That is essential and
it is the phase that we have been
struggling with in the United States,
and also I believe in the UK and
in Europe for the last several months.
That's not my professional area, but
it's obvious I think to many people what
that largely consists of at the present
time, at least it's fairly well known,
and the deficiencies of the public
response are relatively clear.
Of course I'm professionally an economist,
so my emphasis has been on the question
of how to handle the economic
implications of what has been happening.
If I had to point to the single most
important thing, I would say it is
essential to understand that this is not
a short-term problem, it is not a problem