Coronavirus, public health and the economy

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Photo courtesy of Industry Global News 24.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will likely mean crowded hospitals, school closings and shuttered workplaces. It could even lead to a global recession.

“It’s highly infectious. People will die. And there’ll be a run on our hospitals,” says Dr. Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University professor who advises the World Health Organization on global pandemics.  

He hopes that President Trump is listening to scientists at the Centers for Disease Control, adding that “state and local governments have the power to safeguard the population, and they can take any measures -- as long as they’re science-based and evidence-based.”

Gostin says that so far, there’s been more accurate and more widespread testing in Japan, China, South Korea, and Italy. 

Mark Zandy, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics, wants the Trump administration and Congress to start thinking about “fiscal stimulus,” including deficit financed tax cuts and government spending increases like those enacted during the Great Recession of 2008. 

“At the end of the day, this is why we have government … for crises,” he says. “It’s time to stand up, and I hope they will. …  I think when push comes to shove, we will come together and do the right thing. We always do.” 

He concedes though, “It might take a little longer to come together.”




Warren Olney


Andrea Brody