The Coronavirus Cost

America’s expenditure on covid-19 equals the combined GDP of 135 nations.

Four trillion dollars—that’s how much the United States has spent on its coronavirus response this year, up through the end of October. Four trillion is one of those numbers that is hard to wrap your head around. Most people, including our leaders, simply cannot grasp how gigantic that sum is. So let’s try breaking it down.

Adjusting for historical inflation, $4 trillion is equal to the cost of all U.S. wars combined with the exception of World War II. That means Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Vietnam, Korea, World War I, the Civil War, the American Revolution, and all the others in between—combined; the U.S. has spent the equivalent in less than one year.

Or you could consider the price in terms of gross domestic product. U.S. coronavirus spending is greater than the GDP of any nation on Earth with the exception of the top three: America, China and Japan. It’s greater than the GDP of the entire continent of South America. It’s greater than the combined continents of Africa and Oceania; than the GDP of the Middle East and North Africa combined. It’s equivalent to the combined GDP of the lowest 135 countries in the world.

$4 trillion—aimed at alleviating the effects of less than one year of coronavirus, in just one country.

What could you do with $4 trillion? The Panama Canal was the most expensive construction project in American history to that point. Adjusting the amount spent to current values: With $4 trillion, America could build the Panama Canal 425 times over.

In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire. Some criticized the purchase as a waste of money. Adjusting the purchase price for inflation, with the equivalent spending, you could buy Alaska 30,000 times over!

What about within the time frame of one year? If we spread it out from the first confirmed U.S. coronavirus case (January 20) to the start of October (when we hit $4 trillion), that averages to roughly $15.7 billion per day. That’s two Panama Canals, every single day. That’s an American Revolution every four hours. The Louisiana Purchase every half hour. Buying Alaska every 10 minutes—for over nine months. That is sickening.

America has now spent $4 trillion, in less than a year, to fight a virus that doesn’t even rank in the top three pandemics of the past century. Can we begin to fathom the magnitude of this spending?

And this, of course, is just the money being spent. This doesn’t even take into account the sheer nationwide losses this year from shuttered businesses.

And the situation across the Atlantic is much the same. The United Kingdom is approaching $700 billion in its own attempt to deal with coronavirus. For a population one fifth the size of America’s, the figures aren’t far behind.

What is that money being spent on? Did you know that of that $4 trillion, only 16 percent went to actually fighting the virus itself? Most of it—$2.3 trillion—went to businesses that, in large part, were “not required to show if they were impacted by the virus or lockdown.”

We’ve never dealt with a virus this way. Gone, apparently, are the days of “quarantining” the sick and letting the “healthy” work. In the upside-down world of today, the solution seems to be quarantining the healthy and sending the sick into nursing homes.

Even during the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed some 50 million people worldwide, the healthy were allowed to work. No work meant no food. The choice for heads of households was the possibility of catching the flu and possibly dying—or starvation for themselves and their families.

But coronavirus is no Spanish flu. Coronavirus is a disease in which 99.9 percent of people who get it survive. What, then, is all this spending for?

Many of us have had friends and family die of coronavirus. But we’ve also had friends and family die of the flu and pneumonia. Half of the entire population of the UK is projected to get cancer in their lifetimes. We don’t bankroll for these things. They are hardly mentioned. Do these deaths not matter?

Already around the world, economic effects are beginning to bite. More people in Japan committed suicide last month than died of coronavirus in the entire year. Based on the economic fallout, Australia is predicting more suicides per year than current coronavirus deaths. Nobody knows how many “suicides or drug overdoses” have already taken place in the United States.

And this is the result of the present economic lockdown, before the $4 trillion in artificially injected spending has begun to come due. A projected 270 million are facing starvation worldwide as a combined result of unprecedented lockdowns and diverted national spending.

$4 trillion is close to the total U.S. national debt when George W. Bush first took office. Four terms (16 years) later, when Donald Trump took office, America’s debt was $20 trillion. Only four years later, it stands at $27.5 trillion.

There is no intention of “paying off” that debt. Even if we did, those are physically impossible figures to manage. To pay off just the current $27.5 trillion debt would take more than a year of pouring every single cent of our $21 trillion gross domestic product into it. And in the time you’ve taken to read to this point, we’ve added another $10 million to the national debt.

Have you noticed that no one seems to even discuss the debt anymore? We are apparently living in a “Willy Wonka” world where our leaders believe they can simply spend imaginary money—printed or borrowed—with impunity. Who talks about fiscal responsibility anymore?

If you are a good Democrat, if you are a good Republican, you don’t dare question the spending. Actually, you pay for more! In the words of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “If everything we do saves just one life ….”

It used to be that the Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility, the party of Scrooges keeping spending in check. That’s what we heard all the way through the Obama presidency—outrage (and justified) over the spending. But this present spending has taken place under a Republican presidency, and with a Republican Senate. If anything, it is the Republicans condemning the Democrats for stonewalling spending, and not allowing more! What has happened?

“The Senate knows all about end-of-year drama, but this time the stakes could not be higher. Americans are struggling under the weight of this pandemic. Democrats need to let Congress do our job & pass more relief. We have so much common ground. Let’s make law. Let’s get it done.” — Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 7, 2020

Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” We are not good men. We are not wise men. We are a ship of fools. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

What our leaders have done this year has enslaved future generations. You know your children will not be able to pay this off. If you are an American, you currently have $12,000 of the 2020 coronavirus spending over your head. That’s what one single year of spending on one single thing has bestowed upon you, your family, your children’s children. Perhaps you don’t see it in that light. But that’s how lender nations see it.

That’s how hostile powers see it. All debts come due. And 6,000 years of human history show us that if countries are unable to pay with money, there are other, more sinister means.

You can be assured that this spending will catch up with us. It always does. 2020 has seen the United States reach an unprecedented spending milestone in its history. There is no going back. These are not economic numbers that simply go away. Those are numbers that start world wars.

Our leaders have no future vision. We have the national spirit summed up in Isaiah 22:13: “But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! Let us eat and drink, you say, for tomorrow we die!”

And tomorrow, we as a nation will die. Our nation has passed the point of no return—our out-of-control spending is one of the clear signs. There is no coming back as a nation from this kind of spending. We are being measured, and found wanting.

God help us.

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