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Donald Trump is right. Governments must consider the cost of fighting coronavirus

In America, Donald Trump has suggested he might lift restrictions 2020欧洲杯小组赛赛程intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus if the economic pain from the measures becomes too great. In a tweet, he said “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself”. The President said that after the 15-days of restrictions were over, a decision would be made on “which way we want to go”. 

Here, Boris Johnson has said the restrictions announced on Monday night would be reviewed after three weeks. They need to be judged against Mr Trump’s criterion – are we making things worse by closing down the country and the economy?

Just a few weeks into this crisis and the economic figures2020欧洲杯小组赛赛程 make appalling reading. GDP is down further in that space of time than at any time in history. Unemployment projections are soaring. Markets have crashed, pensions have been wrecked and many thousands of perfectly viable businesses may never recover.

Inevitably, Mr Trump’s concerns are attributed to impatience and the impact it might have on his re-election chances in November. But it is a perfectly legitimate question to ask whether the cure is worse than the disease, not least when we are told by health officials that coronavirus is not an existential threat to man.

This is going to require strong nerves and tough decisions by governments to understand that they cannot make the total eradication of coronavirus a policy goal but rather its management among the most vulnerable and mass testing among the rest of population. The arrival of a test for antibodies among the 300,000 estimated to have had the virus is critical.

The alternative is a recession of Great Depression proportions and we all know where that led.