Coronavirus

Will Aggressive COVID-19 Control Measures Cost More Than They Are Worth?

Politicians seem to be proceeding on the dangerous assumption that cost-effectiveness does not matter.

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"I like it when people are thinking I'm overreacting," the now-ubiquitous Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN this week, "because that means we're doing it just right." Fauci's point, as he explained to reporters on Monday, is that "when you're dealing with an emerging infectious disease outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are if you think that today reflects where you really are." That's especially true with a disease like COVID-19, since the vast majority of infections involve mild to nonexistent symptoms. In the absence of widespread testing, the number of known cases therefore creates a misleading picture of the epidemic.

But Fauci's comments raise the obvious question of how we can know when the government is overreacting. Although The New York Times calls that "a taboo question," it is one we need to grapple with, given the potentially enormous economic impact of aggressive COVID-19 control measures.

Fauci was referring to the guidelines that the Trump administration issued on Monday, which recommend that elderly Americans and people with serious pre-existing medical conditions remain at home. They also advise the general public to avoid bars, restaurants, unnecessary travel, and groups of more than 10 people. But local governments have gone much further than that, in some cases ordering businesses to close and confining millions of people to their homes except for "essential" purposes.

Some commentators think such draconian measures should be imposed at the national level. Cornell law professor Michael Dorf argues that the federal government needs to "lock us down" and suspend the writ of habeas corpus to "save the nation."

Dorf glides over the constitutional issues raised by such a policy. "What about civil liberties?" he writes. "In normal times, the government may not confine people for the public safety absent 'clear and convincing evidence' that they pose a danger to themselves or others. One would hope that during a pandemic the courts would construe that standard on a population basis rather than one by one."

Dorf also hopes the courts will accede to a creative interpretation of the Suspension Clause, which says "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Does the international spread of the COVID-19 virus constitute an "invasion"? Maybe! "The short answer is no one knows, because Congress has only ever suspended habeas in wartime," Dorf says. "But there is reason to think that the courts would dismiss a habeas case following nearly any congressional suspension."

Civil liberties aside, the combination of travel restrictions, business closures, and lockdowns will pack an economic wallop. Official numbers from China, the country that has imposed the most sweeping restrictions in response to COVID-19, indicate that industrial production dropped by 13.5 percent over two months, the services index fell by 13 percent, exports dropped by 16.5 percent, retail sales by 20.5 percent, and fixed asset investment by 24.5 percent. By one measure, unemployment rose above 6 percent.

What about the United States? The Associated Press notes that "the vast changes deemed necessary to defeat the virus—people and companies no longer engaging with each other—are bringing everyday business to a halt and likely delivering a death blow to the longest economic expansion on record." A.P. cites an estimate by Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, who "expects the American economy to shrink at a staggering 12% annual rate in the April-June quarter," which "would be the most dismal quarter on record dating back to 1947." Daco "thinks the economy will post zero growth for 2020 as a whole."

Oxford University economist Ian Goldin is even more pessimistic, suggesting that the response to COVID-19 could lead to an "economic crisis" in the United States that "perhaps even eclips[es] that of 2008," which cost an estimated $22 trillion. McKinsey & Company likewise sketches a scenario in which "the global economic impact is severe, approaching the global financial crisis of 2008–09."

While such projections are highly uncertain, so are the benefits of extreme measures like those recommended by Michael Dorf. But we can roughly estimate the maximum possible value of such interventions, which gives us some idea of how much economic pain can be rationally justified.

In the worst-case scenario imagined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—a projection that assumes efforts at containment and suppression are largely ineffectual—COVID-19 causes 1.7 million deaths in the United States. Applying the "value of a statistical life" (VSL) used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to measure the cost-effectiveness of regulations (about $8 million in current dollars), the cost of that outcome would be huge: $13.6 trillion. Using the somewhat higher VSL calculated by Vanderbilt University economist W. Kip Viscusi based on labor market data ($9.6 million), the cost would be $16.3 trillion.

But even assuming that extreme measures are 100 percent effective at preventing that loss (which they certainly will not be), the economic cost, if it is similar to what happened during the Great Recession, would be larger. Those VSL-derived numbers do not include the medical and economic costs associated with nonfatal COVID-19 cases that might be prevented by aggressive intervention. But it is still probably a generous estimate of potential benefits from curtailing the epidemic, because no intervention will be completely effective. Furthermore, the EPA and Viscusi VSLs are arguably excessive in this case, since COVID-19 deaths are heavily concentrated among the elderly, meaning fewer years of life lost on average.

The cost-benefit analysis looks better if you boost the number of deaths expected in the worst-case scenario. Researchers at Imperial College London, for instance, project a maximum of 2.2 million COVID-19 deaths in the United States, which would be a loss similar to the cost of the Great Recession based on Viscusi's VSL. But that projection assumes the "absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behaviour," which is hardly realistic.

We can scale back both the expected number of deaths without drastic action and the economic impact of trying to prevent them, but we still seem to be left with a big imbalance between costs and benefits. Something like a nationwide lockdown makes sense only if you combine a low estimate of the economic cost with high estimates of the policy's effectiveness and the number of deaths that would otherwise occur.

"You are past the time of monetizing these decisions," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told The New York Times today. "You are at a point of deciding: How many people are going to live, how many people are going to die?"

That formulation implies a much higher level of certainty about the efficacy of COVID-19 control measures than anyone can claim, and it completely ignores the tradeoffs they entail. When government agencies consider imposing regulations aimed at protecting health or safety, they routinely take into account not only the number of deaths that might be prevented but also the cost of doing so. That makes sense, because finite resources spent to reduce one kind of risk, depending on the payoff, might better be spent or invested elsewhere, possibly in ways that would save more lives. But in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, politicians seem to be proceeding on the dangerous assumption that cost-effectiveness does not matter.

NEXT: $1 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Unveiled: Corporate Bailouts and Loans, Checks for All

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  1. MARKETS…IMPLODING!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Is that sarcastic non-sarcasm?

      1. A mix of laughing at all the regular queers around here that joke about it never happening, and celebrating a very successful timing of a market that telegraphed what was going to happen.

        I made a killing after the last financial crisis, and it looks like I might do even better with this one.

        1. Yes, of course.

        2. “that joke about it never happening”

          Ah so you’re stupid. You don’t understand why it started, or why it was done.

          “I made a killing after the last financial crisis, and it looks like I might do even better with this one.”

          Hey me too. More than you lost likely.

          However, Boehm screeching like a fucking idiot about a minor drop was still retarded, and you still don’t understand why he was made fun of (as evidenced bybyour retard ass posting this in a Sullum thread)

          Honestly though, you’re lying. You didn’t make shit and we both know it.

        3. “…I made a killing after the last financial crisis,..”

          Sure you did; every fucking new lefty ignoramus makes the same claim.
          Now, what were you short and what were you long and when? Names and numbers or just one more steaming pile if lefty shit.

      2. I misread this as “autistic non-sarcasm” at first glance.

        1. I think that’s pretty accurate.

          1. Well, its shreek so yeah.

    2. The corps. got a massive tax cut, did they put aside for a rainy day? NO ! They bought back stocks and now want another bail out. They have been making profits never seen in human history and now want more money and less taxes. They don’t deserve another bailout, get a bank loan!
      This money should go to individuals and systems set up to deal with medication, hospitalization, testing and equipment protections for people.
      The large companies will recover, many people will not.
      How does one measure “cost effectiveness” with a human life?

      1. Tend to agree with this. Airlines made billions in profits, only to turn around and spend all of that money buying back shares.

        Of course, and on the flip side, the “free market” tends to penalize companies that attempt to maintain any significant amount of cash on hand.

        Looking to the future is not our strong suit.

        1. I disagree. We don’t have a free market, nothing like it. Free market comes with accepting the risk of failure and your business go under. Bailouts are expected at this point. It’s not the free market that disincentivizes saving for a rainy day. It’s the bailout and anti personal responsibility culture and policies we have.

        2. Apple and Alphabet sitting on piles of cash kinda shoots a hole in the punishment excuse.

          1. “Apple and Alphabet sitting on piles of cash kinda shoots a hole in the punishment excuse.”

            Pretty sure that cash is held off-shore as a result of US corporate tax law; I doubt it says anything about what you are claiming to address.

        3. “Tend to agree with this. Airlines made billions in profits, only to turn around and spend all of that money buying back shares.”

          The first and only job of management is to increase ownership value. Holding un-productive cash rarely does anything about that.
          You are either an idiot, or some sort of slaver

          1. Does buying back shares increase ownership value?
            Not a challenge, honest question. I don’t get to deep into that side of things usually.

            1. “Does buying back shares increase ownership value?”

              Yes it does. Fewer shares = higher per-share price.

        4. The free market doesn’t penalize savings, the ministry of government money (federal reserve) does. A real free market doesn’t include a money monopoly enforced at the end of a barrel of a gun.

      2. “How does one measure “cost effectiveness” with a human life?”

        How much life insurance you got?
        We ‘value’ life every day, snowflake.

    3. “MARKETS…IMPLODING!!!!!!!!!!”

      Did you show up here to give us a look at a raging case of TDS? Or are you just a fucking ignoramus?
      Or both?

    4. And if this goes until a Vaccine is found up to 18 months. Yikes I don’t want to even think about it.

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  2. Betteridge’s Law fail

  3. Fauci is a fascist.

    1. Nope, he’s an MD and this lands squarely on Trump.
      Fauci is an advisor; he is to advise Trump and he did from a purely medical POV. Much as a criminologist would advise that imprisoning the entire population would reduce crime by quite a bit.
      Trump has to take that *medical* advice and balance it against the economic costs (including the number of deaths from poverty, which data Fauci should have had offered Trump).

  4. Yes.

    1. I concur

    2. That’s putting it mildly, abso-fucken-lutely. I think the economy will get a lot worse than this and half the country has just normalized martial law over a bug that has killed less than 1 millionth of the population.

  5. What part of “If it saves just one life…” don’t you understand? How can you put a price on a human life?

    But I am reminded of the scene from The Simpsons where the home security system salesman is trying to sell Homer some expensive system and asks Homer, “You can’t put a price on your family’s security can you?” and Homer replies, “Well, I wouldn’t have thought so, but here we are.”

  6. lmao. Since when have politicians ever cared about the cost of anything? It’s not their money. You see who they care about with the fed pumping and it’s not small business.

    1. “You are past the time of monetizing these decisions”
      said every politician ever

    2. “Since when have politicians ever cared about the cost of anything? It’s not their money.”

      Which coincidentally is the same problem with the health care industry. Doctors and Patients don’t have to care about how much treatment costs, so they will spend inordinately high amounts to minimize the tiniest risks. Doctors don’t want to get sued, and Politicians don’t want to get voted out. And so nobody cares about costs.

      1. It’s not just the healthcare industry that has this problem, it’s the whole modern crony-corporatist model that has perverted capitalism where many of the people who run the big corporations are more concerned for their own short-term interests than the long-term interests of the corporation.

        The whole idea is that well-run companies will be profitable companies and profitable companies will see their stock prices rise and in the usual inversion of cause and effect and function following form, the managers of other people’s money have figured out that they can short-circuit the system simply by taking actions that cause the stock prices to rise. Like somebody who figures out he can lose weight faster by setting the dial on the bathroom scale 10 pounds light than by going through all the trouble of eating less and exercising more, “successful” CEO’s are ones who can manage to push up the stock price and not necessarily ones who make the company better-run. The stock price is supposed to be a proxy measure for the health of the company, not the actual health itself.

        But unfortunately, the stock price is really all “investors” care about, because many of them aren’t actually investors, they’re speculators. Buy low, sell high is the name of the game. Who gives a shit why the stock price rose or fell, whether the company is being poorly or wisely run, all that matters is that it did. Long-term is for suckers because in the long-term we’ll all be dead and all I care about at the moment is whether or not I can afford to buy into that sweet beach-front condo development in Aruba this summer.

        The problem is, the risk/reward function of capitalism fails when the people collecting the rewards aren’t actually risking anything. You can run a company into the ground and still get paid for it, if you can along the way collect on your stock options you can get paid richly, and then you can just walk away from the wreckage and get another job and if the wreckage is massive enough, Uncle Sucker is going to pay to clean up the mess. Or, more correctly, Uncle Sucker is going to make you and me pay to clean up the mess.

        Maybe limited liability, like copyright, should only last for a certain amount of time. Henry Ford took risks founding Ford Motor Company, risks he couldn’t have afforded to take if he personally was going to be on the hook for all potential losses if the business failed, but who at Ford Motor is taking any kind of risk like that nowadays? Nobody’s taking any kind of risk, they’re just playing with other people’s money, why should they care about what’s best for Ford rather than what’s best for them? I mean, sure, they’re interested in the health of the company insofar as it affects their own health, like a parasite is interested in the health of its host, but they certainly aren’t going to put the interests of the company above their own and when they’re balancing the competing interests they’re certainly going to keep a thumb on the scale. It’s the professional number-crunching bureaucrats running things, they don’t really care about the product going out the door, they’re only interesting in the TPS report having the right cover sheet and how it’s going to affect this quarter’s numbers.

        1. “It’s not just the healthcare industry that has this problem, it’s the whole modern crony-corporatist model that has perverted capitalism where many of the people who run the big corporations are more concerned for their own short-term interests than the long-term interests of the corporation.”

          Bingo

        2. Right on.

          1. One more populist asshole heard from.

        3. “The whole idea is that well-run companies will be profitable companies and profitable companies will see their stock prices rise and in the usual inversion of cause and effect and function following form, the managers of other people’s money have figured out that they can short-circuit the system simply by taking actions that cause the stock prices to rise.”

          Lame. Whiny populist bullshit.
          Yes, it’s true for ‘investors’ like turd and others looking for a churn and a ‘Q1 gain’; pros and investors do not. If you believe otherwise, please explain the continued equity rise over the last, what, 13 years? Sounds like you got skunked last week when YOU hoped for a Q1 bump.
          I was wrong last week; did not see the near shut-down of the economy coming. The pros did better; Trump and the local poo-bahs have crippled the economy and therefore the value of equities for some time to come. The market revalued securities better than I did.
          This entire PANIC now has nearly nothing to do with the disease; nearly *none* of the ‘news’ coverage has anything to do with the disease itself.
          It early on became an excuse for exercise tin-pot dictator powers, and now that the economy is driven close to shut down, it has become a race to ‘save’ from disaster what those exact same people have caused.
          None of this should have happened; nowhere does the constitution give dictatorial powers to the executives, either local or national. We now pay the price of Taft’s lost argument with Truman; the loss of principle to expedient.
          Trump should have said ‘Yes, the panic is still a hoax, and I’m not going to crash the economy regardless of the screams of CNN, MSNBC, NYT, and, yes Tony Fauci.
          Doesn’t bother me, financially; I’m ‘well off’, but those unseen lives lost to a collapsed economy should haunt the assholes who caused it, and they will never admit their calumny.

          1. Bullshit. Do you have any retirement plans? Ever see their buy-sell strategies, or just hope they’ll do well just before you retire when you can whine about those evil KORPARASHUNS!

            1. Reply to Nardz; sorry.

  7. No, when people think you’re overreacting, you might be (and in this case, are) overreacting.

    You’re only “behind where you think you are” if you don’t understand epidemic population statistics in the first place.

    Cuomo is right that “We are at a point of deciding: How many people are going to live, how many people are going to die?” He is wrong in thinking that we were ever not at that point. These draconian lockdowns will unquestionable prevent some coronavirus deaths. They will also unquestionably cause other deaths. Consider the many people who are barely hanging on in the best of times. Homeless who depend on social services and contacts that are now shut off. Elders who will die unnoticed because of these isolation rules. Families driven to insolvency and putting off needed healthcare. The question is always “how many people are going to die”. But there’s a second half to the question that Cuomo is ignoring – “which strategy will reduce total deaths”, not merely one sub-category of deaths.

    1. Unseen costs, my friend. These politicians know that the seen costs (Covid Deaths) are the metric by which they will be judged, and will thus happily ignore the unseen costs as long as the voter does.

      1. I agree. It’s a defensible position.

    2. These draconian lockdowns will unquestionable prevent some coronavirus deaths. They will also unquestionably cause other deaths. Consider the many people who are barely hanging on in the best of times. Homeless who depend on social services and contacts that are now shut off. Elders who will die unnoticed because of these isolation rules. Families driven to insolvency and putting off needed healthcare.

      This. This is exactly what I’m most worried about at this point.

  8. I’m sitting down to a mug of hot tea made from a teabag my then Taiwanese girlfriend gave me back in college (so around 2009 or 2010). Tell me: am I at risk of contracting coronavirus?

    Mmm . . . tea . . .

    1. Hmm, this tea tastes like grass. I am disappoint.

      1. Keep adding whiskey until it tastes better.

    2. Were you a gentleman and give your old girlfriend a teabag of her own? If so, the gods will smile upon you this day. Lucky numbers: 6, 11, 23, 34, 2.

      1. How is it possible that none of those numbers is 42, 69, or 420?

    3. Your ex girlfriend is no longer Taiwanese?

      1. Aren’t we all citizens of the world in this global crisis? That’s what Shikha informed me anyway.

  9. That VSL number is nonsensical in a situation where 90% of the lives in question are past retirement age.

    In that scenario, the net cost of a life saved might be negative. 8 million is already an unreasonably high number if the tort court system is anything to judge by, but if you go by future earnings or other services provided, the number for an 83 year old nursing home resident is not going to be in the millions.

    1. They should be using whatever value Bernie would use when rationing health care. That’s the most accurate way to judge the worth of a life.

    2. Solum covers that in the article. He basically hand waves that it is a bit of a wash, because he is NOT calculating the cost of people who don’t die but still consume resources.

      As back of the envelope calculations go, I am willing to let it pass.

  10. Guys, the math is not working out here. Can someone help me out? Trump’s net worth is supposedly $3 billion and there are 300 million Americans. That’s $10 per American. Yet he wants to give everyone $2,000. What am I missing?

    1. A chromosome.

      1. Do you know where my marbles are?

      2. I think he might actually have too many of those.

  11. “Will Aggressive COVID-19 Control Measures Cost More Than They Are Worth?”

    Beltridge’s Law of headlines: The answer is NO.

    1. But in this case, the answer is a resounding YES.

      They will cost more in money and lives.

    2. Beltridge got punked this time.

  12. Hmmm… This must be why I cannot find any authority for the federal government to be doing any of this.

    1. Funny how that never seems to matter

    2. I cannot find any authority for the federal government to be doing any of this.

      “So sue us.”

    3. To be clear, the Federal Government isn’t doing anything right now. It is all state governments.

      1. Governors and mayors are leading the charge.

      2. That must be why Donald is cancelling flights to Europe and talking about closing the Canadian border….

    4. Helvering v Davis.

  13. COVID-19 is our generation’s Y2K.

    1. An apt comparison, except for the fact that we didn’t shut the entire country down even for Y2K.

    2. Except for Y2K I had to be IN the office the entire time.

  14. finite resources spent to reduce one kind of risk, depending on the payoff, might better be spent or invested elsewhere

    “When the dust settles”, *surely* no one will continue objecting to, say, abolishing the Department of Education.

    1. The one thing I am hoping for as I deal with my kids being out of school for the rest of the year (according to my Governor) is that parents spend so long coping and working out home schooling that they start asking why in the fuck they would send their kids back to public school.

        1. Absolutely would.

    2. finite resources spent to reduce one kind of risk, depending on the payoff, might better be spent or invested elsewhere

      Huh. If only there were a system that enabled making those tradeoffs, at the decision point, dynamically and in real time.

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  16. It doesn’t matter if the fedgov piles on with business closures and civil liberty restrictions, because every tinpot dictator health department administrator in every city, county, and parish is in a heated competition to outdo everyone else in these lockdowns.

    I’m very likely to lose my brewery in the next couple months of this. I’m most certain to lose my best employees. I have an enormous space where people enjoyed spreading out naturally, and we practice the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitation, but my customers and I no longer have the choice in how to behave responsibly in our own self and community interest.

    So now, I’m begging people to buy crowlers of beer that I can run to their car, just to keep the lights on.

    1. This is the aspect of coronavirus reactions I am most worried about.

    2. You’d be losing your employees anyway due to illness without quarantine measures. Your attitude is why I think the WHO should just let Coronavirus rip through the world. Idiot ahistorical panglossians cannot conceive of a time when smallpox or influenza killed millions of people a year. Braindead plebs become inured to the benefits of modern epidemiology. instructive pestilence might whip you people into shape when your parents die horribly gasping for air as their organs slowly shut off from oxygen deprivation.

      1. “You’d be losing your employees anyway due to illness without quarantine measures…”

        When is the sky going to fall, chicken little?

  17. Undoubtedly.

  18. What’s amazing is that Fauci just says that COVID-19 is “ten times deadlier than the flu”, and nobody asks him how he got to that number. You’d think someone would question that, since we’re shutting down the entire economy based on the presumption of millions of potential deaths.
    Currently, the case mortality rate (deaths divided by *reported* cases) is 1.6% in the US. But researchers looking at the China data estimated that 86% of cases in China were unreported, most likely due to mild symptoms. That means that only 1/7 of cases were reported. If you divide the 1.6% case rate by 7, you get a 0.22% actual fatality rate – worse than seasonal flu, but worth a 20% unemployment rate and millions losing their jobs and homes?
    Of course, nobody in the press cares enough to ask these questions. During the press conference today, one reporter couldn’t think of anything better to ask than what Trump thought of the term “Kung-flu”.

    1. The press has been absolutely useless in this whole thing. If they aren’t busy enabling further societal anxiety via their scare-mongering or acting as PR flacks for authoritarian government measures, they’re focusing on unserious bullshit like whether the Chinese’ fee-fees will be hurt if anyone accurately labels the virus’s point of origin.

  19. “Will Aggressive COVID-19 Control Measures Cost More Than They Are Worth?”

    Dunno.
    But the frantic response to the manufactured hysteria stands a good chance of ruining the economy.

    1. I think it was the media which manufactured the hysteria.

  20. “lock us down” and suspend the writ of habeas corpus to “save the nation.” This is how dictators are created. We are bankrupt, but these idiots (Trump included) want to spend another trillion dollars that we don’t have. I’m age 81 and could use the money, but I think this is insane!

  21. Worldwide panic produces worldwide government suppression of freedom and economic destruction on a scale never seen before – and billions of people appear to have surrendered their rights and liberties, including the overwhelming majority of Americans. This is just what AOC and Bernie and the climate change fanatics have dreaming of – government shutdown of life and industry and business, destruction of jobs and investments and savings. People can’t pay their rent or mortgages or health insurance, can’t take care of their kids, make their car payments, buy the food and medicine they need. Now “grateful” and “hopeful” Americans are begging for and lining up for government welfare. The only money the government has is stolen – taken by force – or created out of thin air, and Americans are looking to be rescued by the government. Welcome to socialism and fascism on scales that Karl Marx could only have dreamed of!
    And how crazy can people be? Where is the catastrophe???
    8000 illnesses and only 130 coronavirus deaths in U.S. so far, while flu-related illness in U.S. kills 1000 people per week during flu season, and has killed an estimated 22,000 this flu season in U.S., and has hospitalized 275,000, according to CDC. CDC estimates 36 million flu-related illness in U.S. this season, compared to only 8000 coronavirus illnesses to date. 640,000 flu-related deaths worldwide this season. 217,000 coronavirus illness in U.S. to date – compare that to 36 million flu infections in U.S. That is an insane contrast that people are overlooking.
    The government has shut down America – and people are putting up with it – trembling in their houses in fear, hoping that the government which is destroying their lives will give them a little welfare and free coronavirus testing.
    Wake up and say “go to hell, government!” we can take care of ourselves!

    1. Where was this panic during the swine flu pandemic of 2009?

      1. the kinyun was on the throne then, so he just lied and everyone felt better. LIfe went on then, too…..

      2. Incarcerate god-kings don’t have pandemics. Leg tingles and radiant positivity in the transnational elite fight infection.

  22. Umm, how about the cost in unprecedented erosion of freedom? normalization of martial law? The lost faith of future investors and entrepreneurs in funding and creating businesses knowing that the government can order them shut down at any time from a potential problem that has yet to materialize as remotely serious. The US will never be the same again after this, that’s the real cost and it will be massive.

  23. What wasn’t mentioned on the cost side is the lost jobs, foreclosures, depression, suicides, etc, etc that will surely result from this poorly thought draconian lockdown. Or on the flip side, the probable huge number of people who will get it, stay home, recover, and never know they had it. So the true mortality rate will probably end up very small compared to even the 0.6% in South Korea.

  24. This is quite the same hysterical blindness that fuels the movement to “control” global climate.
    Precisely.

    1. ^+1 or more.
      Chicken little has been an “instruction manual” since Novermber ’16, only the object has changed.
      Trump, properly, should have told the chicken littles to stuff it up their asses.

  25. MMT has been fully accepted by the public sector elites now.

    And one hell of a debt jubilee is a coming. It just won’t be the one we need but put on the backs of the non elites.

    The rational thing is to quarantine anyone over 60 who is sick, anyone under who has flu symptoms to have them stay at home and let the rest of the world go to work.

    1. Except a third of the carriers are asymptomatic. Until we have widespread testing, we do not know. We can’t even say for sure what the death rate is.

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    3D Design: M-shaped nose clip, dust mask is cut in 3D fits almost any size/shape face, High elastic ear strap has enough elasticity to make a good seal, not tight, and the breath resistance is slow, it can be also molded for proper fit.

    PS: Please be safe and, if possible, stay indoors.

    1. Please fuck off; pimps get flagged

  27. People are a dime a gross these days. There’s no way they are worth 16 trillion dollars. On the other hand, the economic destruction brought on by the hysteria actually DOES have dollar value.

  28. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told The New York Times today. “You are at a point of deciding: How many people are going to live, how many people are going to die?”

    This clown is behaving like he just got elected god. Glad its not true.

    WHO does he think he is to be talking like this? SOMEONE needs to find a Louisville Slugger, one of the old time Hickry Stiks, and work over the side of his head, either knock the nonsense out or some sense in.
    POliticians like this are why we are in this mess.

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  30. Tough decision, do we save money or do we save lives? It’s so much cheaper to allow the masses to acquire herd immunity.

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