A new report alleges that President Donald Trump did not heed the warnings of a study conducted by White House economists about how a potential pandemic would impact the country. But the report doesn’t cover how Democrats responded – probably because they didn’t heed the warnings either.
The 2019 study posited that a pandemic similar to the 1918 Spanish Flu could lead to half a million U.S. deaths and cost the country $3.8 trillion, The Hill reported.
The study warned that the costs should not be conflated with the annual flu because those costs are lower and more common. “It is not surprising that people might underappreciate the economic and health risks posed by pandemic flu and not invest in ways to reduce these risks,” the study said.
One author of the study said economic activity could need to be halted for two to eight months over a pandemic, according to The Hill. The model flu used in the study was less contagious and less deadly than the current coronavirus pandemic is now thought to be.
$36 billion in estimated economic activity could be lost per week to the pandemic, the study said. If nothing was done to mitigate the pandemic, however, the study said that as much as $13 trillion, or two-thirds of what the U.S. was expected to produce this year, could be lost.
While it is true that Trump didn’t take predictions of a pandemic too seriously until one presented itself, it is also true that no one could be expected to spend significant time considering something as serious as the 1918 Spanish Flu, which hadn’t happened since that time for over a century.
The actual cost of the coronavirus pandemic has already exceeded the government’s projections of $3.8 trillion due to a $2.2 trillion relief bill that has expandable features of up to $4 trillion more. By the time this is over, $13 trillion could look like chump change.
The stock market alone has lost $11.5 trillion since this all started, but could make up gains quickly when shutdowns end if businesses aren’t driven out of existence in the meanwhile.
Democrats will surely seize on this as proof that Trump was negligent, but what about them? I didn’t see any Democrats putting forth legislation to prepare for a pandemic like this ahead of time.
And I also didn’t see them do anything but fight Trump’s early proactive steps like closing the border to travelers from China, which probably saved thousands of lives in the U.S.
There’s plenty of blame to go around concerning the handling of this pandemic, but is it really the time to be doing so? This report originated with the New York Times, which no doubt had an agenda in even bringing it forward.
Democrats and the media should be careful about pointing fingers when all the facts haven’t yet come out, and we don’t know what the eventual losses of lives and treasure will be.