We could write books listing all the economic calamities directly caused by the disastrous pandemic response. We will be suffering the results for years. Yet even today, too few people grasp the relationship between our current economic hardships—extending even to growing international tensions and the breakdown of trade and travel—and the brutality of the pandemic response.
Anthony Fauci said at the outset: “I don’t think about things like the economy and the secondary impacts.” Melinda Gates admitted in a December 4, 2020, interview with The New York Times: “What did surprise us is we hadn’t really thought through the economic impacts.”
There is no wall of separation between economics and public health. A healthy economy is indispensable for healthy people. Shutting down economic life was a singularly bad idea for taking on a pandemic.