Answers of Alexander Dynkin to questions from the audience during “The Black Swans Dance” show on Gorchakov TV

29 April 2020

On April 29, show “The Black Swans Dance” was broadcast on Gorchakov TV. It was opened with a lecture by member of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, economist Yelena Telegina. Following the lecture, well-known Russian scientist, diplomat, President of IMEMO RAS Alexander Dynkin met with the audience.

We are publishing his answers to questions asked by the participants of the online discussion.

- It is a common knowledge that the U.S. healthcare system is weak. President Trump stopped funding of WHO. What is your assessment of the U.S. healthcare system and WHO and do you agree with Trump that the organization is not coping with its work?

- The U.S. healthcare system has demonstrated its fragility. Despite significant funding its effectiveness turned out to be extremely low. There was an attempt to introduce a system of full medical insurance known as Obamacare, but Trump has canceled it and here is the result. Many spheres of the U.S. system need to be reformed and, above all, the healthcare system.

Perhaps, WHO was not doing the best job, but rephrasing the well-known expressing, we can say “there is no other organization”. That is why, under the circumstances of increased funding, that UN agency is taking on a new meaning.

- Recently, we could observe an argument going on in all European countries in regards to how the countries should react after the end of the coronacrisis. Many people are saying that if people do not die from the virus, they will die from its consequences. According to your opinion, what areas need priority funding?

During the times of crises, the process state governing acquired specific features: the automatic control turns off and the manual control turns on. The crisis from 22 years ago is not comparable with the current one. Now the Russia’s economy is stronger, but the main challenge is the falling oil prices. There is no threat of famine or political separatism, the political situation is stable, which allows us saying that Russia will overcome this crisis much better than before. Today the government has more tools to cope with the crisis. Russia has much more space for a fiscal policy than western countries. As far as I understand, Russian has chosen a long-term policy of economic support unlike the U.S. where a decision was made to provide a one-time incentive to the economy. However, in Russia at the moment some space was left to search for decisions. In particular, Russia has significant gold and foreign currency reserves, which match those of Saudi Arabia.

- The name of the discussion “The Black Swans Dance” assumes that this time the swans are not dancing by themselves. Appearance of another feathered dancer is provoking a panic on the international arena and we cannot forecast where the new swan will come from. What event or factor will be sufficient to agitate the markets or is there nothing left to be scared of?

The world has approached a point where the frequency of the black swans’ appearing will increase. Many people talked about an ecological threat, which left the pandemic threat in the background even though there were people who were studying that problem. Currently, the major threat is the second wave of the decease. Russia is three-four weeks behind the countries of Europe, where they started bringing economy gradually out of isolation. It is impossible to forecast all the crises, but, perhaps, you remember that after September 11 countries and leaders started paying attention to terrorist threats. Now the level of preparedness for biological and virological threats is increasing. The focus of the funding will be shifting towards virology studies and epidemic containment because presently medicine is unaware of how to cope.

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