Pictured is George Gilder. According to Wikipedia, Gilder is "an American investor, writer, economist, and techno-utopian advocate." I know next to nothing about Gilder, except that his name is regularly bandied about in a host of appeals I receive by email, telling me that Gilder has predicted this or that, and that I need to take action RIGHT NOW either (1) to make millions, or (2) to protect my assets from a coming catastrophe, or (3) all of the above. Because of these frequent communications from people selling dubious advice, the Gilder name and my "delete" key have established a rather close connection.
To me, it seems clear that Gilder is more concerned about keeping the dollars rolling in than protecting the health and safety of ordinary people, and I am not sympathetic. I tend to think that our responses to the crisis, at least so far, have been pretty good. However, I do think that Gilder's general point is very much worth taking seriously. I think the point goes way beyond pandemics.
Turning over all the key decisions to Admirals, Generals, and Scientists is antithetical to democracy. We need, of course, to listen to the scientists and the "experts" as we make decisions. However, I don't think that we and our elected representatives should do whatever the "experts" say, just because they're the "experts." I am in favor of listening to what the experts have to say, and then deciding for ourselves what we should do. I am in favor, in other words, of democracy, which makes our political judgments paramount. We need always to remember who is in charge (we are) lest we end up being ruled by those who claim that they, and they alone, know what is right.
That said, I hold no brief for the decision-making capabilities of our current president. His ability to make unilateral decisions should show us the wisdom of a system of checks and balances!