The Preventable Economic Effects of COVID‑19

Published on September 16, 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a major toll in terms of human health and wellbeing, as well as the economy. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have risen recently due to the delta variant, and the spike has caused substantial disruptions. Despite these concerns, there has been massive resistance by some policymakers and individuals around the country to basic protective measures, which is resulting in preventable losses to the economy through reduced employment and decreases in productivity.

The Perryman Group has recently quantified these adverse effects and estimates that preventable decreases in US output (gross product) due to the inadequate reaction to COVID-19 total $288.1 billion on an annualized basis. Employment losses were found to reach 1.8 million jobs.

In addition to the tragic human costs in terms of illness and loss of life and compelling social ramifications, inadequate responses to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases also cause quantifiable harms to the US economy.

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