Historian Adam Tooze (Columbia University) discussed his forthcoming book, Shutdown, at the first STS@Tea, a new series of occasional events co-organized by Harvard STS and CompCoRe. Using a critical macro-finance framework, he examined how the Federal Reserve’s emergency interventions in the US Treasury market in early 2020 made lockdowns possible throughout the world. Hilgartner and Jasanoff engaged with Tooze’s global perspective from a comparative STS perspective, arguing that the nation state was the key unit of analysis for understanding why many wealthy nations failed to control the virus. Despite their orthogonal perspectives, the consensus was that economic resources were necessary but not sufficient to manage the pandemic. The event was moderated by Özgöde.