The puzzle of COVID and state capacity

Source: Niskanen Center
by Ed Dolan

“When COVID-19 first struck, many observers looked with dread toward its likely impact on poor countries. With fragile and often corrupt governments, weak public health systems, and inadequate medical resources, these nations seemed defenseless against the novel coronavirus. … As the months passed, however, a more ambiguous picture began to emerge. Writing in the New Yorker in early 2021, Siddhartha Mukherjee described what he called an ‘epidemiological mystery.’ Going by reported death rates, many poor countries like India and Nigeria seemed to be coping with the pandemic not less but more successfully than rich countries like Italy, Belgium, or the United States. Why could that be?” (11/15/22)