Pushing for trade-offs that would cost lives:
The economic costs of the lockdown in North Carolina is hurting younger and middle-aged people harder, according to research released by the Kenan Institute on Tuesday.
It’s one of several findings coming out of a new framework devised by the Instiitute that aims to provide a cost-benefit analysis of reopening the economy amid COVID-19. The dashboard aims aggregates real-time, non-standard economic and public health data, highlighting the difficult tradeoffs between the virus and lockdown costs in a bid shape public policy.
I must admit to a healthy dose of skepticism after Kenan professor Michael Jacobs started stinking up the op-ed pages a few years ago, but it looks like that skepticism was warranted. Instead of just sticking to the business side, misleading health information is also on this "dashboard":
“We don’t claim to have any expertise on the healthcare side; we’re not public health experts. However, the one unanimous opinion from business leaders that we’ve talked to is that there is a need for more data,” he said.
Using data from the North Carolina Department of Health and HumanServices (NCDHHS), Kenan estimates that North Carolina currently has about 23 percent hospital capacity remaining. If needed, capacity could be expanded by roughly another 10 percent by expansion and deploying unstaffed beds.
Meanwhile, North Carolina is currently using just 25 percent of available ventilators.
In other words, we could allow a lot more people to get sick before having to choose who lives and dies. The fact that this "data" is exactly what Republicans and their right-wing nutter cheerleading squad have been harping about is not a coincidence. It isn't just Kenan working on this, it's also a bunch of CEOs from the NC CEO Leadership Forum, who have no doubt also been keen on getting legislation passed that will shield businesses from legal troubles associated with the pandemic.
Understand, I do believe we need to honestly and accurately asses the economic impacts of this pandemic. But stay in your own lane, and don't try to analyze and draw conclusions about the application of health care. And for god's sake avoid speculating about "acceptable losses" when it comes to life and death situations.