Monday, January 25, 2021
Home Covid-19 Opinion | When ‘the American Way’ Met the Coronavirus

Opinion | When ‘the American Way’ Met the Coronavirus


“We’ve basically had a complete abdication of the federal response,” #Gregg #Gonsalves, an assistant professor in epidemiology of microbial diseases at #Yale, told me when asked about the interplay between public health and economic struggles.

#If we want people to take individual actions to help curb the spread of the virus, we also need to invest in their ability to do so. The government could send every household masks — a plan the #Trump administration nixed early on. #It could pay #Americans to stay home if they feel sick, test positive or work for a business that should close for public health reasons, to avoid choosing between their health and their bills.

“If you want people to do the right thing you have to make it easy, and we’ve made it hard,” #Dr. #Gonsalves noted. #States, too, have been told they’re on their own, with #Congressional #Republicans refusing to agree to the money #Democrats want to send to help fill the vast hole left by the pandemic. #In response, some governors seem to be prioritizing businesses over public health, handing out ineffectual curfews to restaurants and bars rather than just shutting them down.

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#But to help small businesses, and to return to strong economic growth, tamping down the pandemic still has to come first.

“There’s no realistic prospect of fostering a complete and durable recovery until the public health situation has been brought under control,” said #David #Wilcox, an economist and senior fellow at the #Peterson #Institute for #International #Economics.

The last 10 months have given us a very clear message: #We are inextricably connected to each other. #We can’t stay healthy unless our neighbors can do so, too. The economy can’t properly function if #Americans are sick and dying. The economy is only a means to an end, a way to improve living conditions. The economy should serve us — we cannot sacrifice our lives at its altar.

The #Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. #We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. #Here are some tips. #And here’s our email: [email protected].

#Follow The #New #York #Times #Opinion section on #Facebook, #Twitter (@NYTopinion) and #Instagram.





[ source link ]
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/29/opinion/new-york-covid-economy.html

##Opinion ##American ##Met ##Coronavirus

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