Thank you for hundreds of thousands of needless deaths.
The United States squandered both money and lives in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it could have avoided nearly 400,000 deaths with a more effective health strategy and trimmed federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while still supporting those who needed it.
That is the conclusion of a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference this week, offering an early and broad start to what will likely be an intense effort in coming years to assess the response to the worst pandemic in a century.
U.S. COVID-19 fatalities could have stayed under 300,000, versus a death toll of 540,000 and rising, if by last May the country had adopted widespread mask, social distancing, and testing protocols while awaiting a vaccine, estimated Andrew Atkeson, economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles.
The Independent, in the UK, has roughly the same story:
As many as 400,000 deaths could have been avoided with a better response to Covid-19 by the United States, a study has claimed.
Although the nation’s death toll stands at 540,000 and counting, as many as 400,000 of those could have been avoided, according to a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference.
Andrew Atkeson, an economics professor at the University of California, said 400,000 deaths were avoidable through the widespread use of face coverings, social distancing, and testing in the run-up to a vaccine rollout, which began in December.
You can find a draft version of the paper here.
In it, he writes:
But, after one year of data on COVID, one conclusion seems clear: the endogenous response of both public and private behavior to the prevalence of COVID-19 has transformed this epidemic from what might have been predicted to be a short, but exceedingly intense, episode into a milder but chronic pandemic that will impact public health and the economy over several years, until, with luck, the technological solution of vaccination brings this disease under much greater control.Thanks, Donnie! You and your supporters fetishized personal freedom and ignorant science skepticism into the deaths of 400,000 of our fellow citizens.