To some extent it's obvious that the coronavirus pandemic did not have to be as bad as it has been and that many lives could have been saved if the Trump regime took it seriously, but a new study has put a number to it.
Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles say our current death toll of over 540,000 would have been significantly lower if we had adopted national safety standards last summer.
And this also seems obvious, but they say sporadically relaxing safety restrictions only to impose them again when infections jump contributed to the death toll.
U.S. COVID-19 fatalities could have stayed under 300,000, versus a death toll of 540,000 and rising, if by last May the country had adopted widespread mask, social distancing, and testing protocols while awaiting a vaccine, estimated Andrew Atkeson, economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles.
He likened the state-by-state, patchwork response to a car’s cruise control. As the virus worsened people hunkered down, but when the situation improved restrictions were dropped and people were less careful, with the result that “the equilibrium level of daily deaths ... remains in a relatively narrow band” until the vaccine arrived.
A lack of leadership from the federal government under Trump gave the coronavirus a lot more room to spread than it should have, but our economic response was also ineffective, they say, and they point toward one specific program that was especially problematic.
If you've paid any attention at all you probably know how I feel about the Paycheck Protection Program, but this is the first time I've seen academics blast the program.
The economic response, while mammoth, also could have been better tailored, argued University of California, Berkeley economics professor Christine Romer. [...]
While she said the federal government’s more than $5 trillion in pandemic-related spending won’t likely trigger a fiscal crisis, she worries that higher-priority investments will be deferred because of allocations to initiatives like the Paycheck Protection Program.
Those forgivable small business loans were “an interesting and noble experiment,” but were also “problematic on many levels,” including an apparent cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars for each job saved, she said.
We flushed nearly $700 billion down the toilet through multiple rounds of Paycheck Protection funding and while at least some legitimate businesses in need were helped by the program, I don't think there's much doubt that the money could have been used more wisely.
We don't need a study to tell us the Trump regime was a disaster, but this analysis ought to be considered and cited when Trump wannabes hit the campaign trail. Electing Republicans is mortally dangerous and bad for your health. As far as they're concerned, Donald Trump was the greatest president in the history of ever and he should be emulated.
Don't vote for people who want you broke and dead.