Four lessons the U.S. should learn from Italy’s coronavirus mistakes (Vox)

Italy’s coronavirus response was horrible. The US needs to learn from it to avoid a repeat.

The Covid-19 outbreak in Italy offers plenty of lessons for the United States and the rest of the world — if only we would heed them.

A trio of academics — Gary Pisano, Raffaella Sadun and Michele Zanini — broke down some of the key takeaways from the Italian experience in a new Harvard Business Review article. Italy reached nearly 100,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 10,000 deaths by March 29, becoming the deadliest epicenter in a worldwide pandemic. The authors called Covid-19 the country’s “biggest crisis since World War II.”

Beyond the scale of the coronavirus spread there, the Italy outbreak has been marked by a halting and inconsistent response from government officials. They were slow to implement strict social distancing measures and, even once officials began to institute social distancing as Covid-19 cases began to spike, the public did not seem to respond to government directives with urgency….

The Harvard researchers warn Italy suffered from “a systematic failure to absorb and act upon existing information rapidly and effectively rather than a complete lack of knowledge of what ought to be done.”

The unavoidable implication is the US is already on the road to the same fate — unless it acts quickly, and pays attention to other countries’ mistakes. Here’s what the US can learn from where Italy went wrong….

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