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Lockdown is not egalitarian: the costs fall on the global poor (Lancet)

June 19, 2020

In a letter to the Lancet, Alexander Broadbent, Damian Walker, Kalipso Chalkidou, Richard Sullivan, Amanda Glassman argue that lockdown is not egalitarian. From the correspondence:

We support Richard Horton's call for a post-COVID-19 health recovery programme, but his lack of attention to so-called lockdown victims is disappointing.

Evidence of avoidable non-COVID-19 deaths (eg, cancer deaths, child deaths from measles, women dying in labour) is mounting. We are disappointed by the false dichotomy implicit in the assertion that there “should be no trade-off between health and wealth”. The wealthy might profit from the economy, but the poor live by it.

Like UNICEF and others, we believe that lockdowns kill people through disruption of health services and deprivation of livelihoods. At the bottom of the global pile, recession is not just a matter of having less: it is a matter of life and death.

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Related Experts

Photo of Amanda Glassman
Executive Vice President of CGD, CEO of CGD Europe, and Senior Fellow
A headshot of Damian Walker
Non-Resident Fellow
Photo of Kalipso Chalkidou
Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow