Covid-19 is present in rich and poorer countries alike, but the looming crisis in developing countries — where dense, vulnerable populations make social distancing nearly impossible and access to clean water and health care resources are often scarce — is far more dire, threatening unprecedented mortality rates, economic devastation, and increased inequality.
We asked faculty expert Melissa M. Lee, assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, to comment on how these countries can best respond, what tools they need most, and what could hamper their efforts to contain Covid-19.
Lee specializes in the international and domestic politics of state-building and state capacity. Much of her work examines how external actors shape the development of the state and disrupt political order. Her first book, “Crippling Leviathan: How Foreign Subversion Weakens the State,” is now available from Cornell University Press.
Q. How can countries that are weeks or months behind the U.S. in terms of Covid-19’s course prepare for and minimize the spread of this pandemic?