WHAT JUST HAPPENED? The human cost of the emergency response to COVID-19 has far outweighed the benefits. That’s the sobering verdict of a trio of scholars—a biologist, a statistician, and a philosopher— in this comprehensive assessment of the worst panic-induced disaster in history. As the media fanned the flames of panic, government officials and a new elite of scientific experts ignored the established protocols for mitigating a dangerous disease. Instead, they shut down the world economy, closed every school, confined citizens to their homes, and threatened to enforce a regime of extreme social distancing indefinitely. And the American public—amazingly enough—complied without protest. Modestly but relentlessly focused on what we know and don’t know about the coronavirus, Douglas Axe, William M. Briggs, and Jay W. Richards demonstrate in this eye-opening study what real experts can contribute when a pandemic strikes. In the early spring of 2020, the panic of government officials, the hysteria of the media, and the hubris of suddenly powerful scientists produced a worldwide calamity. The Price of Panic is the essential book for understanding what happened and how to avoid repeating our deadly mistakes.