Summary of Only Saving Lives Will Save Livelihoods

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many have gotten restless about the economy and seem willing to sacrifice public health efforts to get people back to work. In this compelling article, economist Rajeev Cherukupalli and former US Centers for Disease Control director Tom Frieden make a strong plea to resolve the health crisis first; they argue this will make economic recovery speedier and stronger.

About the Authors

Rajeev Cherukupalli is an economist at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Tom Frieden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives. 



Public safety is critical to economic recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced lockdowns all over the world. But by mid-May 2020, concerns that the economy will crash as a result of quarantine measures have overtaken the focus on protecting people from infection, even though ignoring the health crisis will further delay economic recovery.

Reduced consumption results from public fear and uncertainty. Individuals will hesitate to resume their normal lives if the death toll keeps increasing, regardless of official stay-at-home measures.

Governments have to make major investments on several fronts.

Lockdowns buy time for officials to develop effective strategies...

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