A Marshall Plan for COVID-19The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Members of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group recommend a Marshall Plan for COVID-19.
The group released a letter to this effect, signed by former House speaker Paul Ryan, George W. Bush administration alums Joshua Bolten, Glenn Hubbard, Hank Paulson, and Bob Zoellick, and several former members of President Obama’s cabinet, among others. I’m a member of the group and a signatory as well. Former Clinton Treasury secretary Larry Summers described the letter as a “bipartisan spur” to the Biden administration to provide international leadership to address the pandemic through a global vaccination campaign.
The letter opens:
The International Monetary Fund estimates that it would cost $50 billion to vaccinate 60 percent of the world’s population by the middle of next year. As the signatories note, that’s less than 1 percent of what the U.S. has committed in response to the pandemic.
Such a campaign would be in the U.S.’s economic and geopolitical interest. At a time of soaring deficits, additional billions of spending should not be undertaken lightly. But I agree with the letter that the initiative would pay for itself.
The Biden administration should take this advice.