Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19: Should health measures be loosened due to economic toll?

“Lawrence Sum­mers, a Har­vard eco­nomics pro­fes­sor and for­mer U.S. Trea­sury Sec­re­tary, said much of this eco­nomic toll would be hit­ting the U.S. even with­out gov­ernment-man­dated re­stric­tions. Fears of con­ta­gion would likely be dri­ving peo­ple on their own to avoid restau­rants, air­planes and ball­parks, even with­out gov­ern­ment man­dates, such as man­dates in New York and Cal­i­for­nia that peo­ple stay home.

“A large part of the dis­lo­cation is caused by the coro­navirus and not by the pol­icy re­sponse caused by the coro­navirus,” Mr. Sum­mers said. “I don’t think we need to turn this into a dol­lars-ver­sus-lives thing at this stage.” He said the best choice was likely ad­dressing the health risk, treat­ing the eco­nomic dam­age, and then work­ing to pre­vent fu­ture pan­demics.”

“As Economic Toll Mounts, Nation Ponders Trade-Offs,” Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2020

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