Dear Governor Sununu:
So I saw this tweet from Landrigan this morning:
If this is true … and there is no delicate way to put this … it is madness.
The economy is not a light bulb that can be turned on and off. We are on the precipice of an economic downturn worse than the Great Depression:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicted the U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter because of shutdowns to combat the coronavirus, with an unprecedented 50% drop in gross domestic product.
Keep the economy turned off much longer, when you go to flip the switch back to on, you are going to find that many of the business … especially small businesses … that were there when you turned the economy off have ceased to exist.
How are we going to support 3 out of 10 people who find themselves unemployed, when our GDP is cut in half? The federal government has been .. with an A+ economy … running trillion dollar deficits. Are we going to run three trillion dollar deficits? Five trillion dollar deficits? For how long?
We know a lot more about ChineseCoronavirus now than when we began shutting schools and businesses. Then we thought the mortality rate was 35-times greater than the flu. The number now is 10-times greater, and will likely continue to plummet the more we test.
Speaking of testing, the latest data I could find indicates that only 5 out of every 100 people tested in New Hampshire have tested positive:
The testing … as I understand it … is limited to those we have reason to believe may have the virus. If only 5% of those we believe have the virus really have the virus, the percentage of those infected in the general population has to be much, much lower. In other words, Coronavirus has not been sweeping through the State.
Apparently, the State does not keep statistics about hospitalizations attributed to the virus. But I have not seen even anecdotal evidence about ERs or hospitals being overloaded with coronavirus patients. Indeed, I am unaware of any hospitalizations.
And thankfully there have been zero deaths in New Hampshire.
To cut to the chase, the “cure is worse than the disease.” The hardship and suffering from causing another (and indeed actually worse than the original) Great Depression outweighs the harm … IF ANY … from reopening our economy.
To be clear, reopening our economy does NOT mean we cease taking any measures to combat Coronavirus. We can focus our precautions on those most at risk … the elderly and those with preexisting conditions … while those at low risk get back to work and start the long and painful process of digging out of the deep, deep economic hole we have already dug ourselves.