The SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) pandemic is the greatest threat to prosperity and well-being the US has encountered since the Great Depression. This Viewpoint aggregates mortality, morbidity, mental health conditions, and direct economic losses to estimate the total cost of the pandemic in the US on the optimistic assumption that it will be substantially contained by the fall of 2021. These costs far exceed those associated with conventional recessions and the Iraq War, and are similar to those associated with global climate change. However, increased investment in testing and contact tracing could have economic benefits that are at least 30 times greater than the estimated costs of the investment in these approaches.
Sign in to take quiz and track your certificates
JN Learning™ is the home for CME and MOC from the JAMA Network. Search by specialty or US state and earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from articles, audio, Clinical Challenges and more. Learn more about CME/MOC
CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Corresponding Author: David M. Cutler, PhD, Department of Economics, Harvard University, 1805 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (email@example.com).
Published Online: October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19759
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Cutler reports receiving fees from serving as an expert witness for opioid and vaping litigation, personal fees for article preparation from the Brookings Institution, and research support from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America outside the submitted work. He is also a commissioner of the Health Policy Commission in Massachusetts. Dr Summers reports receiving personal fees from various financial institutions outside the submitted work and personal fees for article preparation from the Brookings Institution.
Funding/Support: This work was funded by the National Institute on Aging under award P01AG005842.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The National Institute on Aging had no role in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Additional Information: More information on the calculations is available at http://scholar.harvard.edu/cutler.
Credit Designation Statement: The American Medical Association designates this Journal-based CME activity activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to:
It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting MOC credit.
You currently have no searches saved.
You currently have no courses saved.