Mask mandate not lockdown can save 5% GDP in USJuly 01, 2020 11:44
As the United States is reeling from the financial impact of coronavirus pandemic leading to uncertainty, economists have suggested that a more painful shutdown could be averted if the country implements a nationwide mask mandate and could save the five per cent of GDP.
A team of economists at Goldman Sachs has published an analysis suggesting that a face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdown, The Washington Post reported.
"A face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5 per cent from GDP," the team, led by the investment bank's chief economist, Jan Hatzius, wrote.
The Post has warned that authors of the report are economists and not public health experts. Their primary motivation is to protect the economic interests of Goldman Sachs's investors, which is why they are interested in the effects of federal policy on the GDP.
The Goldman Sachs report stated that the US is a global outlier with respect to face mask use, which is widespread in Asia and currently mandated in many European countries. Using state-level survey data, the authors demonstrated that such mandates increased usage in their respective states.
"We estimate that statewide mask mandates gradually raise the percentage of people who 'always' or 'frequently' wear masks by around 25 (percentage points) in the 30+ days after signing." -- PTI