The False Choice Between Saving Lives and Saving Livelihoods
We begin with the false choice which President Trump and conservatives like the Lieutenant Governor of Texas have been offering between saving lives and saving livelihoods and speak with Dr. Rachel Werner, the Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who is also a Professor of Health Care Management at the Wharton School and a practicing physician at the Philadelphia VA. She joins us to discuss the projection by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that if no action is taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, 160 million to 214 million Americans will become infected and as many as 1.7 million will die. Now, in effect, the Trump administration is declaring victory by saying that by extending the shutdowns and stay-at-home restrictions until the end of April only 200,000 Americans will die. Meanwhile the economy is expected to contract by 25% in the second quarter with a loss of 14 million jobs, in what is shaping up as the worst economic conditions since the great depression. But if we were to follow the advice of a number of Republican politicians and Jerry Falwell Jr. who is keeping Liberty University open, who are calling for an easing of restrictions, damage to the economy will only worsen as the disease spreads. So getting the virus under control is not only the best thing for humanity. it’s also the best way to restart the economy.