Our Treatment of the Elderly in the Pandemic Is Morally Bankrupt
In societies where elders are honored around the world, the death toll is much lower
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) called us out for “moral bankruptcy” in our Covid-19 response. He’s exactly right.
People are no longer dying from the virus because we don’t know how to prevent its spread. They’re dying because we don’t care to. Countries all over the world—from Africa to Asia to Europe—are showing us that contagion is a choice we are making, not cards we have been dealt.
The former conservative prime minister from Australia thinks we are spending too much money to save the lives of old people. He says we are too fearful to say out loud that we should “let nature take its course.”
He estimates that what Australia spent equates to $200,000/year for every life saved if 10 years were added to your life. He calls that “substantially beyond what governments are usually prepared to pay for life-saving drugs.”
So let’s go there. The reason you spent $300 billion, and the U.S. well in excess, is because we didn’t invest fractions of that amount in the first place. Because we didn’t value people’s health. You want to make your citizen’s pay because the government failed to do its job.
South Africa has fewer than 2,000 new cases every day with much fewer resources. In fact, the continent of Africa has fewer than one case/1000 and 28,000 deaths in total. 1.2 billion people. 28,000 deaths.
As we cross 200,000 deaths this week, I doubt history will fault us for “caring too much” or “spending too much” here in the United States.
Let’s look at the “let nature take its course” alternative. What’s the cost to people paying taxes their whole lives, working hard in a country, and then to get dismissed because they are “elderly?”
Let’s ask Scott Atlas, President Donald Trump’s “science-y” advisor. He dismissively says risk of death is predominantly in people who are “elderly with chronic conditions.”