The president-elect and his team must assume a leadership role over the next days. That role entails working with governors, local officials and private businesses to initiate as broad a national strategy as possible for emergency actions. This is, of course, a tall order. It will help if leaders in the executive branch, pressed by public opinion, join the effort. To succeed, the president-elect must use the power of his bully pulpit to outline and advocate for imperative actions…

What must be urgently targeted are the conditions that are most conducive to super-spreading events — the most important force driving the epidemic wave. Multiple epidemiological studies have shown that gatherings of more than 10 persons, close contact in confined spaces, prolonged contact and contact without face masks pose the highest risk.

As a foundation for emergency response actions, the emphasis should be on three interventions, executed in concert, in any region with case counts over 20 per 100,000 persons per day. These are to temporarily 1) restrict all indoor gatherings of adults to no more than 10 people; 2) close indoor restaurants, bars and clubs; and 3) mandate universal mask-wearing in public.