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Eisenhower’s Military Industrial Complex Speech in the Age of Coronavirus

In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against federal overreach during times of national crises.

“Whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties,” he said.

“Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields…Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.”

In this video, we looked at how Eisenhower’s warnings can be applied to the government’s current response to COVID-19.

Full text of Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address.

Motion graphics by Lex Villena 

Music: “7” by Lex Villena; “Mareé” by Kai Engel, CC BY 4.0

Photos: Living room, smoggybeard; Eisenhower, akg-images/Newscom; Mask, Makidotvn/Dreamstime; DC archival footage, Throwback; Window, Daniel M. Cisilino/Dreamstime; NYC window, Joaquin Camejo/Dreamstime

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About The Author

Lex Villena

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit

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