My Authors
Read all threads
Lloyd's a billionaire and Senior Chairman at Goldman Sachs. He could easily employ a team of actuaries, biostatisticians, economists, epidemiologists, hospitalists, infectologists, and statisticians to price out various cost/benefit scenarios.

But he won't, because...
...the economic numbers blow up. Let's do a thought experiment. Assume:

(a) we still do enough social distancing to reduce infection rates by a whopping 75%;

(b) only 20% of infected people need health care services, and only 30% of those need an ICU.

What happens then?
The healthcare system collapses. Consider this article in the NEJM today:…

What I described above is the "severe" scenario. We'd have 3,840,000 patients needing to use 85,000 ICU beds, 160,000 ventilators, and 25,000 respiratory therapists (per shift).
"Restart the economy" people could do the math on "what does it cost the economy if over 3 million people need intensive care but can't get it?" but, of course, they won't, because using any reasonable value of a statistical life (VSL) puts that cost well into the trillions.
So if we follow Lloyd's advice we're already at *trillions* of dollars in damage, and that's with the rosy assumption we cut the infection rate by 75% and only 6% of infections need intensive care—and that's looking at just the ICU issue, and not issues like downstream effects./5
In short, "restart the economy" is not just callous and cruel, it is bad economics. It is another form of the dangerously wrong assumption that Covid-19 is like the flu. It is not. It is tsunami of pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death.

Like I said in the thread above: anyone making the economic argument to do less needs to show some math. A 75% reduction in the infection rate of Covid-19 still means >3 million people need intensive care but won't get it. What's the economic cost of that?
Every one of these "restart the economy" arguments is based on a completely unrealistic estimate about the prevalence and severity of COVID-19.

It's like saying "the county fair must go on!" while a tornado is approaching. The damage would be massive.
Nope, because pricing the "cost" of "over 1 million dead, over 3 million needing critical care but not getting it, over 20% of cops, firefighters, teachers, nurses, and doctors sickened" produces figures with far more zeros than a partial work stoppage.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Max Kennerly

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!