And argues against excessive debt accumulation.
From a USA Today op-ed:
Every premature death is a tragedy, but death is an unavoidable part of life. More than 2.8 million die each year — nearly 7,700 a day. The 2017-18 flu season was exceptionally bad, with 61,000 deaths attributed to it. Can you imagine the panic if those mortality statistics were attributed to a new virus and reported nonstop?
Current IHME projections (3/31) are for 84K [37K-153K 95% prediction interval] cumulative fatalities by 8/4, assuming current travel restrictions remain in place. The consensus from the suite of models examined by the White House task force seems to be in line with this estimate.
Senator Johnson also forwards the false choice posed between keeping the economy going and engaging in non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs):
Imagine the potential psychological and human toll if this shutdown continues indefinitely, unemployment reaches 20% or higher, as some now predict, and we sink into a deep recession or depression.
Most simulations indicate more fatalities if restrictions are relaxed.
See some actual analysis here:
- Correia et al. Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu
- Eichenbaum et al. The Macroeconomics of Epidemics
- Atkeson, A note on the economic impact of coronavirus
- Atkeson, Lockdowns and GDP: Is there a tradeoff?
- NBER working papers on the Covid-19 pandemic
Current IHME projections (3/31) are for 84K [37K-153K 95% prediction interval] cumulative fatalities by 8/4, assuming current restrictions remain in place. Most simulations indicate more fatalities if restrictions are relaxed.