Institute for Progress — April 2022 Update
Lots going on in DC recently — Ukraine aid, COVID funding, USICA conference process.
Before jumping into the usual update, we wanted to flag a new program we’re running with our friends at the Federation of American Scientists and the Lincoln Network. It’s called the Endless Frontier Fellowship and it’s a one-year position for early-career professionals who want to kickstart a career in public policy. Check out the FAQs here. Apply here — deadline is May 2nd!
Now back to our regularly scheduled update:
✍️ Published Work
Richard Bruns and Nikki Teran reanalyzed the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic
Key stat: “We find that the total harms of COVID-19 to the U.S. are still about $16 trillion (with a range of $10 trillion and $22 trillion) but the components of harm are significantly different than those estimated by Cutler & Summers. The pandemic caused less economic damage than they projected, but more mental health damage.”
Caleb Watney answered the question: “Did globalization cause the Great Stagnation?” in a piece for American Compass
“If we want to restore American dynamism, we have to be rigorous about identifying the underlying causes of its decline. There are many strategic and geopolitical reasons to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing capacity and for the U.S. to be wary of certain Chinese investments backfiring. But blaming a generic globalization boogeyman is an analytical error in the other direction.”
Thomas Philippon published a new working paper on TFP growth that caused quite a stir in the economics community
Dylan Matthews at Vox’s Future Perfect cited Nikki’s work on COVID rapid testing
“But Nikki Teran, the senior biosecurity fellow at the Institute for Progress, suggests that diagnostics meant for public health purposes should not require the same level of clinical testing during an emergency… Teran proposes setting a required level of sensitivity to the virus in question (a level of sensitivity that’s related to how much virus is necessary for a person to be sick or infectious) and having test developers contract to third parties who can confirm in the lab that their test meets that standard. This would vastly speed up approval for tests and avoid the kind of delays the Seattle Flu Study experienced.”
Ryan Heath at Politico cited Nikki’s work on BARDA funding
“VACCINES — CASE FOR MORE INVESTMENT IN NEW VACCINE CATEGORIES: The case for why the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority deserves more funding, by Nikki Teran, includes that ‘the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy estimates it would cost just over $24 billion to have prototype vaccines ready for each of the 26 known viral families that cause human disease. Showing that these vaccines are safe and promote an immune response before we need them will allow for vaccines to be ready for deployment within 100 days after virus identification.’”
Aman Kidwai at Fortune cited Alec Stapp’s analysis of recent immigration trends:
“Boston Consulting Group released a study which found that America is no longer the top destination for global talent. The U.S. is now the No. 2 most-desirable landing spot for aspiring immigrants behind Canada. Alec Stapp, co-founder of the Institute for Progress, called the demotion a ‘slow-motion disaster. A recent UC Davis analysis found that the working-age, foreign-born population in the U.S. is two million lower than it should be based on its pace from 2010-2019.”
The Center for American Progress (CAP) cited Nikki’s work on pandemic preparedness funding in a new report on health and health equity issues.
The Fiscal Times also cited Nikki’s work on this issue
The Association of American Universities (AAU) wrote about Jeremy’s report on STEM immigration and U.S. national security
Willy Chertman and Josh Morrison, friends and partners of IFP, published an op-ed in City Journal about what an Operation Warp Speed 2.0 could look like
🎤 Interviews & Events
Jim Pethokoukis at AEI interviewed Alec for his Substack Faster, Please!
Rob Tracinski of Symposium interviewed Caleb about IFP
Corbin Barthold at TechFreedom interviewed Alec for the Tech Policy Podcast
☀️ New Things Under the Sun by IFP Senior Fellow Matt Clancy
🏗️ Construction Physics by IFP Senior Fellow Brian Potter
👀 Progress Is Possible in DC (what we’re watching)
The conference process for reconciling the America COMPETES Act from the House and the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) from the Senate is about to get underway
Section 80303 from COMPETES, which would create a green card cap exemption for STEM PhD and STEM master’s degree holders working in critical industries, is the most important provision to watch in the conference process
After COMPETES passed the House on a near party line vote, it’s up to Senate Republicans to determine if they want to include the immigration provisions in the final bill
At the moment, Senate Republicans appear divided on the issue
Notably, Senator Portman said he’s in favor of the immigration provisions at a recent press conference
Progress remains slow on fighting the current pandemic or preventing future ones
Congress has yet to pass a COVID supplemental bill, even though funding is running dry for critical medical countermeasures like Paxlovid
No real movement yet from the House Energy and Commerce Committee on their partner bill to the Senate HELP Committee’s PREVENT Pandemics Act
👋 Tweet for the Road
On the Tweet. Regulations should really have a time limit and be reevaluated to prevent that sort of thing from happening. That's just ridiculous.