Reopening States Before June Would Save Millions Of Jobs But Result In Hundreds Of Thousands More Coronavirus Deaths: Report
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As some states begin to relax lockdown orders and allow businesses to reopen, a new report from the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) on Friday found that reopening before June could save 18 million jobs but also result in over 200,000 additional Covid-19 deaths.
If states keep lockdowns in place through June, about 18.6 million more jobs would be lost, PWBM projects. U.S. GDP by that point would fall to almost 12% lower than it was a year prior.
The national death toll will near 117,000, up from the current 63,000, if lockdown orders are extended through June.
If states begin partially reopening (lifting emergency declarations, stay-at-home orders and school closures) then the nation would see 45,000 more deaths in addition to the 117,000, PWBM’s model forecasts.
A partial reopen would however save some 4.4 million jobs out of 14 million more projected to be lost in the next two months, and GDP would fall by 10.7% compared to a year earlier.
If states were to fully reopen—immediately lifting all lockdown orders and business closures, that would lead to an additional 233,000 deaths from the coronavirus by the end of June, PWBM found.
Under that scenario, GDP on June 30 would increase by around 1.5% relative to not reopening, with almost all job losses since May 1 getting regained.
If a full reopening results in Americans relaxing their social distancing measures, then cumulative national deaths will reach a catastrophic 950,000 by the end of June, PWBM’s report shows.
Under those same circumstances, 4.1 million jobs would be regained from losses between March and April.
The total number of jobs lost over the last six weeks now amounts to more than 30 million as the coronavirus crisis continues to force business closures, layoffs and furloughs on an unprecedented scale. Another 3.8 million people filed temporary unemployment claims last week, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The U.S. now has more than 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the death toll surpassing 63,000.