COVID-19 Response White Papers

The Edmond J. Safra Center at Harvard University has convened a rapid response initiative in response to the COVID-19 threat.

White Papers Op-eds        
Securing Justice, Health, and Democracy against the COVID-19 Threat, March 20, 2020.        Danielle Allen, "America Needs To Be on a War Footing," Washington Post (March 20, 2020).
When Can We Go Out?: Evaluating Policy Paradigms for Responding to the COVID-19 Threat, March 25, 2020. Danielle Allen, "A Better Way to Defeat the Virus and Restore the Economy," Washington Post (March 26, 2020). 
Mobilizing the Political Economy for COVID-19, March 26, 2020.  

Building Solidarity: Challenges, Options, and Implications for COVID-19 Responses, April 1, 2020.

Outpacing the Virus: Digital Response to Containing the Spread of COVID-19 while Mitigating Privacy Risks, April 3, 2020.  

We share these materials broadly and publicly in the hopes of encouraging wide engagement in supporting our elected decision-makers in this urgent and difficult period of collective planning.The initiative will bring scholarship to bear on the crisis by providing an avenue for swift dissemination of white papers focused on issues of ethics and governance (including of the economy), emerging from the effort to respond to the pandemic. This cross-disciplinary, rapid peer-review process aims to undo the disconnect among lawmakers, technical experts, bureaucracy, and the general public. White papers will engage topics of societal goals, education, the economy, the health system, the temporality of planning, triage in the justice system, volunteerism, and social solidarity. 

We are excited to hear your ideas too. If you have feedback or are interested in working on a white paper, please get in touch with series editors Danielle Allen ( and Josh Simons (

We will be issuing the full series of white papers here in the coming weeks. 

COVID-19 resources from our friends and colleagues: 

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, COVID-19 Public Sector Resources.

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, "Examining the Coronavirus from the Lens of Human Rights," March 26, 2020. 

Jonathan Chernoguz, "Protecting Rights in a Global Crisis," Harvard Law Today (March 25, 2020). [A Q+A with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics.]

I. Glenn Cohen, Andrew M. Crespo, and Douglas B. White, "Potential Legal Liability for Withdrawing or Withholding Ventilators During COVID-19," JAMA (April 1, 2020).   

Vernal Coleman, "City Plans Pop-up Clinics for Treatment of Homless amid Coronavirus Outbreak," Boston Globe (March 17, 2020). 

COVID-19: A Frontline Guide for Local Decision-Makers

Ezkekiel Emanuel, "Fourteen Days. That's the Most Time We Have to Defeat Coronavirus," The New York Times (March 23, 2020). 

-----. "We Can Safely Restart the Economy in June. Here's How," New York Times (March 28, 2020). 

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., et al., National Coronavirus Response: A Roadmap to Reopening, American Enterprise Institute (March 28, 2020). 

The Hastings Center, Ethics Resources on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

David S. Jones, M.D., Ph.D., "History in a Crisis--Lessons for COVID-19," The New England Journal of Medicine (March 12, 2020).

Mahindra Humanities Center, Response to COVID-19.

MASS Design Group, Designing Spaces for Infection Control (March 27, 2020).

-----, Guidelines for Limiting Contagion in COVID-19 Tent Clinics (April 1, 2020).

-----, "Role of Architecture in Fighting COVID-19."

Michael Sandel, "Pandemic Ethics," The Global Philosopher (podcast), April 1, 2020,

Ayelet Shachar, "Borders in the Time of COVID-19," Ethics & International Affairs (March 2020). 

Sydney Policy Lab, Principles for a Policy Response to COVID-19.

Robert D. Truog, M.D., Christine Mitchell, R.N., and George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D. "The Toughest Triage — Allocating Ventilators in a Pandemic," The New England Journal of Medicine (March 23, 2020).