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U.S. weighs the grim math of death vs the economy

By Ann Saphir and Jeff Mason

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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I think the correct answer is to shut things down enough and for a length of time such that hospitals aren't overwhelmed. Beyond that I doubt the health impact of the virus outweighs the health impact of economy in terms of the excess death count.

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Dead people cannot buy things.

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The best way to help the stock market is to help the economy, and the best way to help the economy is to get the pandemic under control. Unfortunately, our current leadership in Washington is incompetent in that regards.

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They are trying to work out which is more important? People or money?

I can't believe this!

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False choices and even if they aren't they are morally wrong. During WW2 the UK moved from being a creditor nation to a debtor nation. Should she have said bugger the Poles, bugger the Jews, declaring war will cost will us money?

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They are trying to work out which is more important? People or money?

Although it sounds terrible, people have to make decisions like this all the time. Particularly in medicine. To take an extreme hypothetical example, if a drug to keep you alive cost $1m per day, I doubt that any insurer or national health system would approve it - sorry, but your life is not considered worth $365m per year to society.

There is a simple way to cut road traffic accidents to zero - ban cars. Not likely to happen

More realistically, medical research tries to balance its expenditure where it will have the greatest impact.

Although money plays a big impact - far more is spent on "first world" diseases than those in developing countries. Approximately 70,000 people, mainly children, die from rabies every year, usually from dog bites. Vaccinating all the dogs would not been expensive - $30 per shot in a US vet, so presumably a fraction of that. There is little will to spend that money.

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