[Question] Are there any public health funding opportunities with COVID-19 that are plausibly competitive with Givewell top charities per dollar?

My best guess is no, but feel like I should throw this ques­tion out there in case any­one can think of plau­si­ble can­di­dates. Most of the ad­vice is tar­geted to large donors in EA on the as­sump­tion that Open Phil, etc is ~40% likely to come across this thread, rather than for scrub small-scale donors like me.

Some pos­si­bil­ities I could think about:

1. Buy test­ing kits from South Korea/​Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers and part­ner with bio­hack­ers/​non­profit groups/​home­less shelters/​se­nior homes/​other at-risk places to ad­minister them ahead of hos­pi­tal sys­tems. Un­der­stand that you prob­a­bly can not legally call them COVID-19 tests, but still do this type of guerilla test­ing quickly and provide nec­es­sary quaran­tine guidelines/​sup­plies later/​

2. Fund a large prize for the best #Alter­na­tiveVen­til­la­tor de­sign that bal­ances cost, ease of con­struc­tion, and qual­ity.

3. Buy ads on New York Times/​Fox News etc (and other lo­cal equiv­a­lents in other coun­tries), to make #flat­ten­the­curve mes­sag­ing more well-known among peo­ple who aren’t ag­gres­sively on­line.

4. Pre­pare and be ready to buy ads on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties that just got ev­i­dence of an out­break and sug­gest emer­gency mea­sures (we may be able to race a few days ahead of pub­lic health au­thor­i­ties in act­ing very fast this way).

(One way to race ahead is to bid a lot for heav­ily tar­geted Google and FB ads).

5. Fund vac­cine pro­jects (though it looks like a lot of pro­jects are already un­der­way and dumb money might make this situ­a­tion worse).

6. Fund a large prize for ag­gres­sive/​fast/​cheap test­ing, po­ten­tially to be used in the de­vel­op­ing world.

7. As­sume Bill Gates knows what he’s do­ing here and throw money at what­ever the Gates Foun­da­tion throws money at (as­sum­ing they have similar poli­cies like Open Phil and don’t want to ac­count for 100% of fund­ing for most pro­jects).

8. Buy a lot of masks and dis­tribute it to at-risk pop­u­la­tions.

9. Fund stud­ies for var­i­ous air­port in­ter­ven­tions.

10. Give a grant or fund a prize for a high-qual­ity no-con­tact ther­mome­ter for hu­mans, to be used at air­ports, con­fer­ences and other places.

Thoughts on ad­di­tional sug­ges­tions? Would es­pe­cially ap­pre­ci­ate ones that have cost-benefit es­ti­mates/​guessti­mates tacked on (would also be ex­cited if some­one can for­mal­ize any of my loose sug­ges­tions into solid cost-benefit guessti­mates).

Ad­den­dum: Also ex­cited to learn of ex­ist­ing/​shovel-ready pro­jects and non­prof­its that EAs can fund, not just new pro­jects. How­ever, for those I’d ap­pre­ci­ate a spe­cific sum­mary and cost-effec­tive­ness es­ti­mate at­tached (oth­er­wise we’ll see a lot of an­swers that are just stuff like “The Red Cross”).

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