In my latest column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I push back against those who interpret the COVID-19 pandemic – whose severity is undoubtable – as a reason to reject free trade and globalization . A slice:
Here’s a partial list of medicines, medical treatments and public-health measures that originated outside of the United States and, thus, are made available to us Americans through our connections with non-Americans. How many of these marvels are you willing to sacrifice in order to be shielded from the possibility of the likes of covid-19?
— Pasteurization. Discovered in France .
— Typhoid vaccine. Formulated in England .
— Epidemiology. Major breakthrough in England .
— Anesthesia. Major developments made in England and Scotland .
— Chlorination of water . Began in Germany and England.
—Heart transplant. First performed in South Africa .
To the extent that we close ourselves off to foreign commerce, we close ourselves off to much more than what globalization’s opponents contemptuously dismiss as “trinkets and T-shirts.”  We close ourselves off also to, among other non-trivial goods, medical and scientific advances made abroad. And we also lose foreign-produced additions to supplies of medicines produced here at home.