More experiments in the public sector are good things! But keep them controlled and governed (no pun intended) by the scientific method.

We are currently engaged in mass experimentation with approaches to pandemic response here in the US. The issue is that these experiments are very disorganized:

1. No formal control groups – the closest I have seen is in FL where different regulations were in place in different parts of the state

2. No clear hypotheses on expected outcomes

3. Multiple changes going on at once with no an ante or ex post view of which ones were effectives

4. No retrospective assessment or quantitative validation of results, especially with respect to exogenous factors like the weather

5. Limited communication of clearly falsified ideas and formal incorporation of ideas needing further testing into upcoming tests.

I would never advocate putting human lives at risk for the sake of an experiment, but if we are going to go down the road of running multiple experiments in state and multi-state groupings, at least let us do it in an effective way so any lives impacted and/or lost aren’t sacrificed in vain.

We need to exit this experimental phase with a strong and coherent program of effective countermeasures that can be applied broadly (optimally applied globally) and a commitment to provide the resources necessary to ensure effective deployment.