Wed. Apr 29th, 2020

Paul Romer told The Washington Post: “We should be spending $100 billion on the testing. We should just get it going. It’s just not that hard.”

A Nobel Prize-winning economist is calling on the government to test every person in the United States for the coronavirus to get the country back to normal this summer, for a cool $100 billion. 
Paul Romer, a former World Bank chief economist who won the Nobel Prize in 2018 for modeling the US’ and global economies, told The Washington Post the government should test every person every two weeks and isolate those who tested positive.
He said it would probably cost about $100 billion, which might sound like a lot, but it isn’t in comparison to what Congress has already spent — about $2 trillion — on dealing with the coronavirus, with more government spending to come, if parts of the country remain closed.
He told The Post: “It’s totally in our control to fix this. We should be spending $100 billion on the testing. We should just get it going. It’s just not that hard.”
The US has tested 5,593,495 people as of April 27, according to the COVID Tracking Project, an initiative run by data scientists and journalists that keeps a daily count of the number of tests for the coronavirus done across the US, based on what state and local health agencies have reported.
A person is tested for the coronavirus.
Getty
It’s a decent jump considering seven weeks ago, on March 8, South Korea’s total number of tests done per million citizens was roughly 700 times the US’. South Korea had tested 189,000 people while America had only tested 1,707 people. The discrepancy was despite the fact the two countries announced their first coronavirus cases on the same day, Business Insider previously reported.
Romer said screening should begin with healthcare and frontline workers, before widening to test the rest of the population, harnessing university labs to process tests.
Romer’s not alone with his call for mass testing. A “roadmap” report from Harvard University published on April 20 suggested that 20 million people needed to be tested per day by mid-summer, if the economy was to be re-mobilized. 
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