Fox Business panel says economic shutdown worse than the virus, touts “U.K. strategy” of letting everyone get infected immediately

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Citation From the March 20, 2020, edition of Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria

DAGEN MCDOWELL (ANCHOR): And I will just point everyone to a Wall Street Journal editorial that I suspect will get a lot of attention today. It's called “Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown.” And it reads in part that if the government-ordered shutdown continues for more than another week or two, the human cost of job losses and bankruptcies will exceed what most Americans imagine. That we need to rethink how we're addressing this virus, because potentially the fallout from an economic depression could even be worse.

MARIA BARTIROMO (HOST): Yeah, that's a sobering op-ed, and it's a sobering moment for the country, for sure. You're right, we know that the next three weeks will get worse. We have to be frank and accurate on this, the numbers are about to spike. The numbers spiking in New York, the numbers are about to spike throughout the United States. It will get worse before it gets better, for sure. Having said that, companies are rushing to come up with therapeutics and therapies, so we will get through this.

STEPHEN MOORE (AUTHOR, Trumponomics): Yeah, I agree with that optimism, but Maria, I also am in 100% agreement with this Wall Street Journal editorial. In fact, I talked to my friend Paul Gigot about this a couple of days ago. We have to start making very smart decisions about whether the cost of this shutdown of our economy exceeds the cost of allowing people to go out on their lives and take some of the risk of the coronavirus. Look, we can't go on for four weeks, five weeks, with our economy shut down. And the human toll of that, and the devastation of wealth, and the devastation of people's life savings, would be too great in my opinion. And we have to start asking this question about whether this trillions of dollars of losses is worth — is worth it in terms of, you know, the cost of maybe a bit of a faster spread of the virus.

MARIA BARTIROMO: What is your take on the U.K. strategy, Steve? I mean, when you look at what the U.K. has done — encouraging people to go out, pretty much expecting that everybody will get it, and that's the point. If you have everybody who has coronavirus, maybe it's less of a threat, because the immunity goes up. Do you have any comments about the U.K. strategy?

MOORE: I'm not a public health expert, so you know, I can't, you know, weigh in, in terms of any special knowledge about that. But I do think, you know, that's a better strategy than putting, you know, 150 million people in lockdown, or 200 million people in lockdown. You know, it's just not going to work. It's going to — you know, there is a — when you have a high economic cost like this — 

BARTIROMO: It's called -- it's called the herd immunity strategy, the herd immunity strategy. Move in herds, and everybody gets it.

MOORE: We'll see. Look, I just think that if we continue with four or five weeks of an economic shutdown, and a lockdown, you know, we have to look at the human toll of that, which could be far greater than the human toll of coronavirus.

BARTIROMO: Absolutely.

DAGEN MCDOWELL: Steve, this is something that could literally last for years and years. You're putting — you're putting a large swath of the country out of business forever. And the human cost of that, what is happening on just the individual level in this country is breathtaking and horrific, and I'm not talking about the virus.

BARTIROMO: Absolutely. What are you talking about?

MOORE: Well, look, these are the decisions that our government has to make right now and you know, it's a cost and benefit analysis. And the point I'm making is, you know, you can't — we can't function as a society if we can't produce things. I mean, it'll be so devastating in terms of the losses that I just wonder whether the government is making the right cost-benefit analysis here.

BARTIROMO: If I understand this correctly, we are going into a period right now where things are about to spike. Companies have been given guidance that the next two to three weeks, possibly a month, will be in some regard a peak. As I understand it, government wanted to keep isolation, keep people home in this upcoming two-week period, three-week period. We'll see how long that goes on.