A National Mask Mandate Could Save The U.S. Economy $1 Trillion, Goldman Sachs Says
Sarah Hansen, Forbes
Jun 30, 2020
As mask-wearing becomes a political flashpoint—despite coronavirus cases spiking to record levels across the country—new research from Goldman Sachs suggests a national mask mandate would slow the growth rate of new coronavirus infections and prevent a 5% GDP loss caused by additional lockdown measures.
Goldman’s analysts found that wearing face coverings has a significant impact on coronavirus outcomes, and they suggest that a federal mask mandate would “meaningfully” increase mask usage across the country, especially in states like Florida and Texas, where masks are not currently required.
The researchers estimate that a national mandate would increase the portion of people who wearing masks by 15%, and cut the daily growth of new cases by between 0.6% and 1%.
Reducing the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, the analysts found, could be a substitute for strict lockdown measures that would otherwise shave 5%—or $1 trillion—off the U.S. GDP.
“If a face mask mandate meaningfully lowers coronavirus infections, it could be valuable not only from a public health perspective but also from an economic perspective because it could substitute for renewed lockdowns that would otherwise hit GDP,” the researchers wrote...