Researchers Claim Deaths from COVID Higher Than Necessary Along With Spending, Enough Blame for Everyone

A group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference this week offers an early and broad start to what will likely be an intense effort to assess the response to the worst pandemic in a century.

The upshot is that we didn’t do enough to stop the virus from spreading before the vaccines were available, and we wasted trillions of dollars on giveaways that do nothing to ease economic suffering or help the economy heal.

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.

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 outcome, had no vaccine been developed, would have been a far-worse 1.27 million, Atkeson estimated.

The economic response, while mammoth, also could have been better tailored, argued University of California, Berkeley economics professor Christine Romer. She joins former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and several others from the last two Democratic administrations in criticizing the spending authorized since last spring, including the Biden team’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

Romer said:

“Spending on programs such as unemployment compensation and public heath was exactly what was called for,” but other parts, particularly the generous one-time payments to families, were “largely ineffective and wasteful.  If something like the $1 trillion spent on stimulus payments that did little to help those most affected by the pandemic ends up precluding spending $1 trillion on infrastructure or climate change in the next few years, the United States will have made a very bad bargain indeed.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Jack Gordon

    More hogwash from leftists. We now know that [1] masks protect neither the wearer or his interlocutors, and [2] that ‘social distancing’ was a scam that even the uber-compromised CDC has changed now from 2 to 1 meter. I’ll tell you how we could have reacted better and saved lives: we could have used Hydroxichloriquine, zinc, and Zpacks along with Ivermectin to stop the virus in its tracks early on when victims were infected, and we could have used tests less sensitive that the PCR, tests that might have really indicated what was going on instead of causing undue alarm over hugely inflated numbers of ‘cases’.

    • E. P Killion

      The entire drive by media was to blame by claming that Hydroxichloriquin did not work.
      Jack has got it right.

  2. Michael Hendricks

    Yhis guy is an economics professor. While his views on financial may have some value, he is not a doctor. Consequently, his view of the health response is worth less than nothing. As a former flooring installer, my views on the medical response has just as much veracity as his, which is next to none. What a pompous ass he is.

  3. GS

    Can the 400,000 garbage, lefties. The CDC said in their report at the end of July that 6% of “Covid” deaths were from Covid only – the other 94% averaged 2.6 comorbidities. You want to further lower the death count? – don’t count people who died with 3 bullets in them, drowned, flew through a windshield in a car accident, wiped out on a motorcycle, etc., as “Covid” deaths. Also, NYC decided to reclassify the deaths of 3.000+ people who died in December 2019 as “Covid” without doing any testing last May – part of their “May surge”. The total death toll for the U.S. in 2020 was 1% higher than in 2019, to go along with the 1% increase in population — the same increases year over year since 2010.

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