The following interview, between Noema Magazine Editor-in-Chief Nathan Gardels and author (previously of “Guns, Germs, and Steel”) Jared Diamond, has been edited for clarity and length.
“Nathan Gardels: In assessing how nations manage crises and successfully negotiate turning points — or don’t — you pass their experience through several filters. Some key filters you use are realistic self-appraisal, selective adoption of best practices from elsewhere, a capacity to learn from others while still preserving core values and flexibility that allows for social and political compromise.
How do you see the way various nations addressed the coronavirus pandemic through this lens?
Jared Diamond: Nations and entities doing well by the criteria of those outcome predictors include Singapore and Taiwan. Doing poorly initially were the government of Italy and now, worst of all, the federal government of the U.S…”