National mask mandate can save US from 5% GDP loss

National mask mandate can save US from 5% GDP loss

A chief economist from Goldman Sachs has found that mandatory usage of masks can help alleviate the U.S. from further economic decline.

While the United States is torn between freedom and safety, the global investment bank Goldman Sachs investigated whether a national mask mandate could help the U.S. mitigate the impact of coronavirus. It turned out wearing a face mask in public, and crowded places can yield positive results to the country’s economy.

Goldman Sachs: mask can save U.S. economy

Jan Hatzius, Goldman Sach’s chief economist, together with his team, has investigated the link between wearing face coverings and its economic outcomes.

In a note released on Monday, June 29, Hatzius said that wearing face masks can save the U.S. economy from a five percent loss in its gross domestic product. The economist also noted that a national mask mandate would likely “increase face mask usage meaningfully,” which can help raise more people to wear masks.

“Our baseline estimate is that a national mandate could raise the percentage of people who wear masks by 15 [percentage points],” Hatzius wrote in the note.

According to the economist, he tried to compare and analyze state-level mask usage. In his observation, he noticed that mask mandates can increase the number of people who say they wear masks “always or frequently” by 25% 30 days after its implementation.

National mask mandate can save US from 5% GDP loss

At the same time, people who say they “always” use masks in public places climbed as much as 40% more than 30 days after the government’s order.

He suggests that people in cities with mask mandates are more likely to wear a mask and that it forces people to wear masks “always” rather than “frequently.”

Mask as an alternative for lockdowns

Moreover, Hatzius also suggested that by implementing a national mask mandate, the country could move past severe government lockdowns. Based on their investigation, it could slash the infection rate down to 0.6%.

The economist then translated these findings into GDP terms. Hatzius said they compared the seriousness of lockdowns before to how the U.S. economy reacted to government-imposed business closures.

Through the estimated results, along with the goal to reduce daily rate infection by one percent, they concluded that a national mask mandate could be a substitute for additional lockdowns that could incur another GDP loss of five percent.

“These calculations imply that a face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP,” the chief economist wrote.

Overall, it implies that face coverings, as per Hatzius, are “associated with significantly better coronavirus outcomes.”

Images courtesy of Geralt/Pixabay, Risingthermals/Flickr

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