Health Care

Covid-19 pandemic to cost United States $16tn: Ex-Treasury Secy

Covid-19 pandemic to cost United States $16tn: Ex-Treasury Secy”

Researchers say about half of the figure, $8.6 trillion, will be due to premature deaths and those who have long-term health implications from contracting COVID-19.

He's director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health, in Richmond. The total cost of the pandemic - including more than 10 weeks of near total lockdown across most of the country, which caused the GDP in second quarter to drop by more than a third - will eclipse the money the US has spent on every war since September 11, 2001, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the study says. Instead, the researchers claim these deaths are the result of a series of events set in motion by the pandemic, so they can be indirectly attributed to COVID-19. "VCU researchers have been diligent in their investigations into both treatment of COVID-19 and in understanding the long-term repercussions of the pandemic, so that fellow doctors, policymakers and community members can fight these battles on multiple fronts".

The article comes as the USA continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths at 7,803,884 and 214,063, respectively.

"Although total U.S. death counts are remarkably consistent from year to year, United States deaths increased by 20% during March-July 2020".

Of the excess deaths, 67% were officially attributed to COVID-19, while others in the excess were attributed to factors like heart disease and Alzheimer's disease, according to the study. In the article, a team of psychiatrists point out that every single death, including the 250,000 excess deaths in the previous article, creates its own radius of devastation.

"We knew it was bad".

The report was published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA. The researchers found 1,336,561 deaths occurred in the United States between March 1 and August 1, 2020, which represented a 20 percent increase over expected deaths. COVID-19 was a documented cause in only 67% of those cases. The researchers suggest some of these excess deaths could be unaccounted, or undocumented COVID-19 cases.

"Some people who never had the virus may have died because of disruptions caused by the pandemic", Woolf added.

People suffering from pandemic-related anxiety, depression or stress who either die by suicide or die from an accidental overdose. "But it seems quite likely", Woolf said. "People under stress trying to cope with the strains of this pandemic may have taken a drug overdose and died".

They wrote: "these deaths far exceed the number of U.S. deaths from some armed conflicts, such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and deaths from the 2009 H1N1 (Swine flu) pandemic, and approach the number of deaths from World War II".

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On the other hand, Woolf says sunbelt states like Florida, Texas and Arizona re-opened too soon. Excess deaths in U.S. "That dragged out the length of their epidemic". "They reacted with a robust public policy response, controlled community spread, bent the curve and by May they had numbers back to baseline".

Combined with the second study's global comparison, the studies "together say something very important", Woolf said.

The authors also suggest that more money would be saved by increased testing and contact tracing.

He pointed to the early travel ban that President Donald Trump often cites as proof that his administration effectively responded to the pandemic.

The U.S. was faring better than some high mortality countries, but only in the early stage of the pandemic.

"U.S. citizens were still flying in from China, but more importantly the virus was coming from Europe and there was no ban imposed there until March", Woolf said.

Bilinski and Emanuel categorized South Korea, Japan and Australia as low mortality countries, with fewer than 5 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people. "There were clear actions that could've been taken in January, February and March but were not and are still not". The study blamed the high number of USA deaths on "several factors, including weak public health infrastructure and a decentralized, inconsistent United States response to the pandemic".

"The economic consequences of this pandemic are stunning", he said.

The coronavirus pandemic will cost the United States an estimated $16 trillion - about 90 percent of the annual gross domestic product - in the next year, a new study suggests.



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