March 23, 2021 Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dear Friend,

I enclose for you our 2020 Annual Report. It reports success all around. Keep in mind, however, that the beautiful pictures and astonishing data on AIER’s influence mask something very important. It was a year of unprecedented challenge. It wasn’t just about the virus. It was about a decision we made early on in the pandemic. We decided that AIER must lead in defending our values against an onslaught without precedent in our lifetimes.

Even from late February, there was a media and government consensus growing that the US needed to lock down like China. The claim: this was the only way to control this deadly virus. The problem: nothing like this had ever been tried. There was no evidence that this would work. We did know for sure that this attack on freedom and rights would cause enormous suffering, poverty, and death. We were sadly correct and the carnage is all around us.

That said, AIER did play a strong leadership role in guiding many people and places back toward the light of openness, freedom, and rationality. It was not an easy task. Our staff worked like I’ve never seen. We’ve published the best research and science on the topic for a full year. We’ve faced down brutal attacks. And working with the best scientists, AIER hosted what became a game-changing document: The Great Barrington Declaration.

You and your families and communities have also faced terrible challenges. In the midst of crisis, you still thought about the larger picture: the good of this country and its future. Thus you were a supporter of AIER and our work. We are all deeply grateful.

We’ve had one theme stated a thousand different ways. For the sake of social and economic functioning as well as human rights, disease mitigation must not be managed by political actors but rather medical professionals. Events have proven this to be correct.

We’ve lived through a paradigmatic case of how moral courage and integrity in ideas can move the world on a better path. We’ve seen how absolutely crucial it is to lead with principles and truth. It made the difference. I’m so proud of all that we’ve done together.

Even if this battle is won, there are so many ahead of us. The trauma of 2020 will be felt decades hence. The healing will only come from honesty and truth, and a thorough rejection of the folly, duplicity, and deception that has defined our era. It’s time for the truth.


Edward P. Stringham, Ph.D

Edward Peter Stringham

Edward Peter Stringham

Edward Peter Stringham is the Davis Professor of Economic Organizations and Innovation at Trinity College, and Editor of the Journal of Private Enterprise. Stringham served as the President of the American Institute for Economic Research. He is editor of two books and author of more than 70 journal articles, book chapters, and policy studies. His work has been discussed in 15 of the top 20 newspapers in the United States and on more than 100 broadcast stations including MTV. Stringham is a frequent guest on BBC World, Bloomberg Television, CNBC, and Fox. Rise Global ranks Stringham as one of the top 100 most influential economists in the world.

He earned his B.A. from College of the Holy Cross in 1997, his Ph.D. from George Mason University in 2002. His book, Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life, is published by Oxford University Press.



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