How globalization can help fight the coronavirus : The Indicator from Planet Money Globalization and urbanization historically have made the global economy more productive and efficient — and also more vulnerable to pandemics. But now they can be forces for good in the fight against pandemics.
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How To Use Globalization To Fight Disease

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How To Use Globalization To Fight Disease

How To Use Globalization To Fight Disease

How To Use Globalization To Fight Disease

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/949611051/949612954" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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HONG KONG, CHINA - 2019/03/30: Earth Globe 'Gaia' by artist Luke Jerram set up to raise awareness about global warming seen in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong Island. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Globalization has played a strange role in the cycle of pandemics. At first, it made the world more vulnerable to infectious disease. Then, in the nineteenth century, it fueled lifesaving advances in medicine. And those advances, in turn, accelerated globalization further and made the world more and more vulnerable to pandemics like coronavirus.

So, should we give up on globalization? Trade less, travel less, become less interconnected?

Today on the show, we talk to Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. He's finishing up a book on the past and future of infectious disease. And one of the most provocative arguments in his book is that instead of trying to reverse globalization, the world should actually embrace it as a powerful force in fighting against infectious diseases.

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