The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 215,000 Americans, will end up costing the United States $16 trillion, according to economist Lawrence Summers.
Summers, a former senior official in the US Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama, said the $16 trillion price tag is four times the Great Recession and includes the cost of lives lost and the worsening health of the United States people due to the coronavirus.
While half of the costs come from the health concerns mentioned above, the other half comes from a loss of gross domestic product from the shutdowns and ongoing spread of the virus, said Summers via Bloomberg.
If stronger action was taken by the Trump administration, the United States could have shut down for a month in the spring and put the virus in the rearview mirror. After a month, everyone could have returned to their jobs wearing masks if the Trump administration focused on mass-producing tests and implementing effective contract tracing programs that could have saved many lives, jobs, and trillions of dollars.
“Policies including wide-scale population testing, contact tracing, and isolation can reduce the spread of infection and prevent some of these losses,” said Olivia Rockeman via Bloomberg. “Spending on testing and tracing strategies is about 30 times less expensive than the projected economic cost without those policies.”
It is still October and the United States is far from being prepared to handle what could be deadlier coronavirus infections in the winter season that could wreak additional economic havoc, something Americans can’t afford at all.
It is why America needs Joe Biden to become its next president. America needs a leader with a plan. If there is no plan, lives will be lost and the pandemic will continue to cause unnecessary destruction.
Joe Biden’s first move, if he is elected president, is to test and trace, according to his website. A comprehensive testing and contact tracing strategy will save countless lives and dollars. Biden would have had a plan that could have avoided much of this pain America has felt during the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump, on the other hand, downplayed the impacts of the virus in February and is still without a plan as November quickly approaches.
About Ryan Lipton
Ryan is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Business Journalism. He has written in the past for SB Nation’s Silver and Black Pride, USA Today Sports Media Group, North Carolina Business News Wire, the Daily Tar Heel, and has worked with Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league. Ryan is also a regular contributor to MeidasTouch.com