Watch: What Happens Next
May 5, 2020 – John J. Farmer, Jr., director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics and the Miller Center for Community Protection & Resilience, participated in Rutgers University’s first video in the “What Happens Next” series that explores how the United States might respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Farmer called for the creation of a commission (similar to the 9/11 Commission that he served on) to evaluate the government’s response to COVID-19 and to inform a real-time course correction.
“The United States has a sophisticated and well-thought-out plan for emergency response, but it assumes that any given emergency is going to be localized in nature. The power to deal with the crisis is really reposed with the governors and mayors, with the federal government and FEMA taking a supporting role by providing expertise and supplies as needed. What we’ve seen here is that model in the case of a pandemic simply doesn’t work. The pandemic doesn’t respect the political boundaries that define our emergency response system, so as a result you see what’s happening,” said Farmer.