Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in late 2019. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting nearly every facet of daily life and claiming lives across the globe.

As leaders grapple with how to respond, RAND experts seek to address and inform policy options and examine how different countries and communities are managing the crisis. Topics include health care capacity, telemedicine, social distancing, countering misinformation, economic effects, school closures, and online learning.

  • A voter completes his ballot on the day of the primary election in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. June 23, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Report

    Voting in a Pandemic: What Americans Think About Safety, Election Integrity, and Preparedness

    Aug 27, 2020

    As states prepare to conduct elections during the COVID-19 crisis, what are voters' perceptions about safety, election integrity, and the readiness of local officials? And how might these perceptions affect voter turnout in November?

  • A person donates blood during a Red Cross and Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team blood drive at Chase Field in Phoenix, April 28, 2020, photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images

    Essay

    A Stable Blood Supply Is Critical in the COVID-19 Era

    Aug 27, 2020

    Millions of lives depend on the U.S. blood supply. But no one knows exactly how much blood is in the system at any given time, or whether it's enough to meet demand. The federal government has no way to collect that data, and hospitals don't share it with each other. What can be done to strengthen the system?

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • How Has the Coronavirus Shutdown Affected the Environment?

    Multimedia

    How Has the Coronavirus Shutdown Affected the Environment?

    Rob Lempert, principal researcher with the RAND Corporation, discusses how the COVID-19 shutdown has affected the environment.

    May 13, 2020

  • A respiratory therapist operates a ventilator in the intensive care unit, photo by Shannon/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Planning Hospital Needs for Ventilators and Respiratory Therapists in the COVID-19 Crisis

    During the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals have run short of ventilators, as well as respiratory therapists who are trained to operate them. RAND researchers developed a model that can help hospitals prepare for and respond to shortages.

    May 13, 2020

  • The Care19 mobile app, developed by the State of North Dakota to assist in contact tracing during the global outbreak of the COVID-19, April 24, 2020, photo by Paresh Dave/Reuters

    Commentary

    Should Communities Be Concerned About Digital Technologies to Fight COVID-19?

    Personal smart devices offer an unprecedented opportunity to identify, track, map, and communicate about COVID-19. But apps could pose privacy and security concerns.

    May 13, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Psychological Symptoms Among Frontline Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Outbreak in Wuhan

    To examine the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on frontline healthcare workers in Wuhan, we collected data between February 13-17, 2020 through a smartphone-based survey.

    May 12, 2020

  • German Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Franziska Giffey speaks as she poses with a poster for a campaign against domestic violence, in a supermarket in Berlin, Germany, April 29, 2020, photo by Michael Sohn/Reuters

    Commentary

    Measures to Help Domestic Abuse Victims During COVID-19 Are Welcome but Not Enough

    One of the most worrying and consistent trends during the COVID-19 lockdown is an increase in domestic violence. Governments are taking different approaches in how they act to stop the violence and help victims to be heard during the lockdown. Securing adequate resources for support services is vital.

    May 12, 2020

  • Man talks with mental health practitioner via telemedecine, photo by verbaska_studio/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Want to Stem the Rising Mental Health Crisis? Look Beyond the Usual Suspects for Help

    As the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects spread, concerns about mental health impacts continue to grow. Many communities and policymakers are desperate to stem the tide of unaddressed mental health needs, and with the right investments in training, task-shifting models have enormous potential to bolster available, accessible mental health services.

    May 12, 2020

  • A laboratory technician working on research for a vaccine against COVID-19 in Bern, Switzerland, April 22, 2020, photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

    Commentary

    Needed: A Blueprint for a Post-Vaccine World

    When a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, many in rich countries may be able to afford it while the poor and uninsured may not. The time to plan for equitable access, financing, intellectual property rights, and global production is now.

    May 11, 2020

  • Laboratory worker working under a laboratory exhaust hood, photo by Marc Dufresne/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Biosecurity Is the Lesson We Need to Learn from the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Biological outbreaks have been a fear among experts for decades and human activities present windows of vulnerability. To address this, America needs to have a new approach to biosafety and biosecurity that addresses the full range of biological threats that humankind and the global environment will face in the future.

    May 11, 2020

  • Women work on a production line at a mobile phone factory in Assuit, Egypt, September 30, 2018, photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

    Commentary

    Economic Recovery in Egypt Should Include Women

    Despite tremendous strides in educational attainment, women's engagement in the labor force in Egypt remains limited. Will Egypt's post-pandemic recovery further exacerbate structural barriers and inequities? Or could the current economic crisis be an opportunity to develop new opportunities to employ women and foster conditions for a more inclusive and diversified labor force?

    May 11, 2020

  • Officials wearing protective gear take body temperatures at a check point, in Marneuli near Tbilisi, Georgia, March 23, 2020, photo by Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Crisis Could Spur Post-Soviet Fixes

    Much of the post-Soviet space remains afflicted with authoritarian rule, inefficient economies, corruption, and regional tensions. The COVID-19 crisis could prod countries to address key issues, but they will need help. Targeted Western aid could help willing countries make progress.

    May 8, 2020

  • Blog

    Reopening America, China's 'Mask Diplomacy,' State Police Powers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on a RAND tool that estimates the public health and economic effects of reopening America, China's “mask diplomacy,” using police powers for pandemic response, and more.

    May 8, 2020

  • A worker from the city's center for disease control and prevention draws blood from a man to conduct a test for antibodies against COVID-19 in Suifenhe, China, April 16, 2020, photo by Huizhong Wu/Reuters

    Testimony

    China's Health System Reform and Global Health Strategy in the Context of COVID-19

    In response to SARS, China restructured its public health system in 2004. It has also prioritized health care system reforms over the past decade. What are the implications of these developments on China's response to COVID-19? And how can the United States engage China in global pandemic response?

    May 7, 2020

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Historic Economic Effects of COVID-19

    The extent of COVID-19's effect on the labor market will be catastrophic for many workers and businesses. Matching the unemployment rate peak set by the Great Depression is not even necessary to establish the historic nature of the downturn that we're living through.

    May 7, 2020

  • A TV reporter wearing a mask, photo by brightstars/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Don't Make the Pandemic Worse with Poor Data Analysis

    The need for immediate answers in the face of severe public health and economic distress may create a temptation to relax statistical standards. But urgency should not preclude expert analysis and honest assessments of uncertainty. Mistaken assumptions could lead to counterproductive actions.

    May 6, 2020

  • Passersby walk past a countdown clock showing the adjusted days and time until the start of the postponed Tokyo Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, April 1, 2020, photo by Issei Kato/Reuters

    Commentary

    Jumpstarting the U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Amid COVID-19

    Since roughly 2012, South Korea–Japan ties have frayed. Could the United States encourage trilateral medical cooperation during the pandemic, ensure that the Tokyo Olympic Games are held, and in so doing help heal the relationship between Seoul and Tokyo?

    May 6, 2020

  • Members of the Maryland National Guard load medical supplies and equipment at the Maryland Strategic National Stockpile location on March 19, 2020, photo by MSgt. Christopher Schepers/U.S. Air National Guard

    Testimony

    The Federal Research Enterprise and COVID-19

    There is still much to be done to address the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's not too early to examine shortfalls and ways to steer the United States through the crisis. What has been the federal response so far? And what role has the Department of Homeland Security in particular played?

    May 5, 2020

  • COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit, photo by JazzIRT/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Critical Care Surge Capacity in U.S. Hospitals: Strategies for Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

    In this brief, the authors present methods for creating critical care surge capacity in hospitals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and estimate patient capacity, given the number of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, ventilators, and beds.

    May 5, 2020

  • Four hands holding magnifying glasses, photo by solidcolours/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Leading with the Proper Use of Scientific Evidence Is Better Than Hiding Behind It

    Evidence only has scientific meaning when it is part of a body of disciplinary knowledge produced by a community of scientists. Leading with scientific evidence, coupled with a wider values framework, may result in better outcomes for all.

    May 5, 2020

  • A rideshare driver wears gloves and a mask while driving following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Commentary

    Non-Emergency Medical Transportation in the Time of COVID-19

    More widespread availability of rideshare for non-emergency medical transport may save lives, reserve emergency resources for those who need them, and provide safe pathways to primary care for the chronically ill. It could also save livelihoods, providing employment in a time of economic hardship.

    May 5, 2020

  • A woman walks past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Shanghai, China March 12, 2020, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Commentary

    Don't Be Fooled by China's Mask Diplomacy

    China has provided coronavirus-related aid to hundreds of countries. This appears to be an effort to make the world forget its role in the COVID-19 crisis—and to take advantage of its neighbors' current distraction.

    May 5, 2020