Letter: Will Whitmer’s pandemic orders shorten lives in Michigan? from The Detroit News
August 12, 2021
Socioeconomic literature, disregarded for political expediency, shows how the Whitmer administration’s COVID response may have shortened lives in Michigan.
Life expectancy is driven by two primary factors: education and income. All other social determinants of health pale in comparison and in fact derive from these two categories.
Consequently, any public policy designed to preserve life must preserve education and the economy or the result is shorter life expectancy. However, the Whitmer response to COVID decimated both education and the economy.
State COVID restrictions shut down Michigan’s economy and retarded the education system, which is precisely how lives will likely be shortened, Frank writes.
How does this impact us?
During the COVID pandemic, false narratives positioned race, not education or economic status, to be the cause of social strife. However, race is relatively unimportant in life expectancy.
Further, as the medical community studied the risk factors for COVID deaths, the risk was not strictly race-based: COVID severity is strongly related to age and underlying medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
State COVID restrictions shut down Michigan’s economy and retarded the education system, which is precisely how lives will likely be shortened.
Ironically, it was likely the government response to COVID, not the virus, that disproportionately destroyed the lives of Black Americans as minority-rich metropolitan areas such as Detroit were economically and educationally devastated by government lockdowns.
Regardless of race, however, an impoverished person loses 10-15 years of life expectancy compared to a wealthy person.
We should encourage future government leaders to strongly consider the following question: Is it humane to take away potentially a decade of life from young adults and children to offer a few months more life to the elderly likely to die soon from their underlying medical conditions?
To that question it seems the Whitmer administration has said “yes” through its actions.
Dr. Allan P. Frank, assistant professor of medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine
Read, “Letter: Will Whitmer’s pandemic orders shorten lives in Michigan?” from The Detroit News