The COVID recession may kill more Americans than COVID-19 does

Geoff Colvin:

The economic effects of COVID-19 could prove deadlier than the disease itself. 

So says just-released research, which concludes that the total lives lost to the virus in the U.S. may “far exceed those immediately related to the acute COVID-19 critical illness…The recession caused by the pandemic can jeopardize population health for the next two decades.”

The new working paper, by authors at Duke University, Harvard Medical School, and the Johns Hopkins University business school, focuses on the almost instantaneous unemployment of millions of workers in March and April. The unemployment rate jumped from nearly the lowest in 50 years to the highest since the current measurement system began in 1948. While it has come down, it’s still at its highest rate since the recovery from the 2008–09 financial crisis.