In an epidemic
In an epidemic, suppression of bad news costs lives and eventually angers the public. The White House is in danger of repeating the error.
This strategy has almost never worked, historians and former health officials said. And ultimately, if there are more deaths than leaders blithely predict, it destroys the reputations of the leaders themselves.
This week’s efforts to reorganize the Trump administration’s chaotic response to the coronavirus outbreak risk falling into that pattern. The White House will coordinate all messaging, the public was told, and scientists in government employ will not be popping up on television talk shows, saying whatever they think. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/28/health/coronavirus-pence-messaging.html
That may not be a winning strategy, experts warned. The stock market reacts to rumors, and the Federal Reserve Bank may succumb to political pressure. But pathogens, like hurricanes and tsunamis, are immune to spin.