It is popular these days to boil our vast universe of policy choices down into a single, binary choice: either you’re for public health, or you’re for economic recovery. Obviously, this is a false choice. Not only should we do both, we literally have to, since physically sick people don’t form the basis of a healthy economy and an unhealthy economy makes people physically sick.
In planning for the future, it may be more helpful to think in terms of a spectrum. When it comes to public health and the economy, policymakers face a dizzying number of decisions. The better the data and evidence available to them, the better those decisions will be for tens of millions of Americans who need help.