Number of the Day Shows Depth of COVID-19’s Damage

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Number of the Day

That's the long-term cost of the COVID-19 pandemic to the U.S. economy, according to a new report estimating the financial consequences of the crisis.

Sixteen trillion dollars is equivalent to 90% of the U.S. annual gross domestic product, making the COVID-19 pandemic the worst economic event since the Great Depression, wrote Harvard University economists David M. Cutler and Lawrence H. Summers in a report released Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

For individual families of four, the cumulative estimated cost of the pandemic will be $200,000. The cost would be due to both lost income from COVID-19 recession as well as the economic effects associated with a decline in individual quality of life. The bleak prediction combines metrics such as the estimated loss of economic output, unemployment, COVID-19-related deaths, and continuing medical and mental health costs related to the virus. The authors estimated that 625 000 cumulative deaths will be associated with COVID-19 throughout next year if the current trajectory continues.

The authors suggest that increased investment in COVID-19 testing and contact tracing could provide economic benefits that are 30 times larger than the cost of these investments.

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