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The Virus, Not Politicians, Will Determine When Economies Can Safely Reopen

New studies show that it’s more contagious and more resilient than previously believed

In January, before Covid-19 had become a global pandemic, a doctor from Tennessee told me something wise. “It’s all about the virus,” said Dr. Mark Denison, director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “It’s all about the bug. We’re along for the ride and responding as best we can.”

Keep that in mind as you track the pronouncements of President Donald Trump and other world leaders as to when they expect to reopen their economies. Because ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they and their teams of medical experts want to do. All that matters is what the virus itself allows us to do.