Final COVID-19 Tracker 7-2-2021

Final COVID-19 Tracker 7-2-2021

July 02, 2021

COVID-19 was not a hoax, but it was the world's first Social Media pandemic, where fear was spread in a way we have never seen before. Our goal with the COVID-19 Tracker was to provide a data driven piece to put the pandemic in perspective.

The information we presented was used by the White House, Congress, the press, educational institutions from universities to high schools, and of course, the Financial Advisor community. The reason we think it was so widely used was that we presented factual data in a way that helped minimize fear.

What this data has consistently shown since the beginning of the pandemic was that those most at risk were a small subset of the population. Those 65 years and older make up only 16.3% of the population, but have accounted for nearly 80% of all COVID-19 deaths as of 6/30/21.1 In our opinion, focusing resources on the most vulnerable individuals, instead of locking down the entire country, would have resulted in better outcomes from both a public health and economic perspective. As history looks back, we believe locking down the economy will be viewed as one of the most damaging public policy mistakes in world history.

The shutdowns destroyed supply chains, put millions out of work, hurt the young by eliminating in-person learning, damaged mental health, caused the delay of important screenings for other health problems, and led to a government spending spree of over $5 trillion. We are now dealing with the costs of those shutdowns and while we can't assess the long-term sociological problems, we do know that the economic data continues to improve. You can follow our weekly Recovery Tracker here.

While some fear that a new variant of COVID may lead to more shutdowns, the data tells us that this is unlikely to happen.  Vaccines, which were miraculously developed in less than a year thanks to Operation Warp Speed, have helped many to return to more normal life. We think this trend will continue in the months and quarters ahead.

Yes, there are long-term economic consequences from government spending and money printing, but it seems clear that in the near-term confidence is returning, the pandemic is waning and the economy is booming. As a result, we have decided it's time to end the First Trust COVID-19 Tracker on its one year anniversary. We hope you found our Tracker a port in the COVID-19 storm., Census Bureau (population estimates as of 4/1/20)

Click here to view the one page report