RELEASE: What the US Can Learn From Other Countries That Have Reopened Their Economies During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, D.C. — As the United States considers how to safely reopen its economy during the coronavirus pandemic, a new column from the Center for American Progress urges officials to consider the lessons that can be learned from other countries that have done so successfully as well as from those that have not.

It is important to understand why, for instance, South Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan have been so successful, while Italy and Spain have struggled. And in the case of Singapore, it looked successful at first but is now experiencing a resurgence in cases.

“While recognizing its own unique needs and situation, the United States should learn the lessons of countries that have already been successful in flattening the curve and are starting to reopen segments of their economies,” said Kelly Magsamen, vice president for National Security and International Policy at CAP and a co-author of the column.

The column argues that, above all else, the United States must act quickly to mitigate the virus’s spread; reopen businesses in measured, careful steps, only after there has been significant progress in slowing the spread of the virus; and have in place adequate testing and contact tracing, which will allow for evidence-based decision-making

Even after reopening, examples from other nations show that continued social distancing is necessary and additional waves of the virus should be expected. The essential elements of the policies implemented by those countries are reflected in CAP’s plan to end the coronavirus crisis.

“Read the column: “International Lessons Learned From Coronavirus Reopenings: How the US Response Compares to Those of Other Nations” by Kelly Magsamen, Maura Calsyn, Michael Fuchs, Thomas Waldrop, and Haneul Lee

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at  or 202-478-6327.