How will COVID-19 shape the way the American government operates? Where were the points of governmental failure when it came to the American policy response to COVID and how can the U.S. adjust its policy and politics to deal with future hazards better? Dr. Rob DeLeo, an associate professor of public policy and global studies at Bentley University, Dr. Thomas Birkland, a professor of public policy at North Carolina State University, and Dr. Kristin Taylor, an associate professor of political science at Wayne University, all discuss governance and policy before, during, and after disasters.  Dr. Birkland discusses whether the COVID-19 can be understood as a “focusing event,” in terms of its effects on U.S. policy or if we should use indicator-driven policy as the model for understanding the response. All the researchers debate the extent to which federalism has worked or did not work as intended in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the role federal, state, and local governments have in disaster preparedness and response. Dr. DeLeo and Dr. Taylor both discuss new joint research on voter preference around disaster preparedness as well as the structural issues that lead to chronic underinvestment in disaster preparedness. All comment on how COVID-19 might affect the presidential election and how politicians might adjust their agendas to meet the moment. For further reading: Lessons of Disaster: Policy Change after Catastrophic Events After Disaster: Agenda Setting of Public Policy and Focusing Events Anticipatory Policymaking: When Government Acts To Prevent Problems and Why It Is So Difficult Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies “The White House Has Erected a Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE” Disasters and Democracy: The Politics of Extreme Natural Events


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