12-08-BirdFlu - CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE U.S. Congress...

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CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director U.S. Congress Washington, DC 20515 www.cbo.gov December 8, 2005; revised July 2 7 , 2006 Honorable William H. Frist, M.D. Senate Majority Leader United States Senate S-230 Capitol Washington, DC 20515 Dear Senator Frist: In response to your request, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has prepared an assessment of the possible macroeconomic effects of an avian flu pandemic. The assessment concludes that a pandemic involving a highly virulent flu strain (such as the one that caused the pandemic in 1918) could produce a short-run impact on the worldwide economy similar in depth and duration to that of an average postwar recession in the United States. Most of the pandemics of the past involved much milder strains; an outbreak of that kind would have a much smaller economic impact, which might be indistinguishable in the macroeconomic data. In its assessment, CBO also describes the current state of preparedness for addressing a possible pandemic and options for increasing the nation’s preparedness. (However, in accordance with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, this document contains no recommendations.) The billions of dollars spent in recent years preparing for health crises that could arise from possible terrorist attacks would provide some limited benefits in the event of a flu pandemic. Even so, if a pandemic were to occur in the near term, the options for the United States would be limited to attempts to control the spread of the virus and judicious use of limited medical facilities, personnel, and supplies. In the longer term, more tools are potentially available, including an increased treatment capacity, greater use of vaccines and antiviral drug stockpiles, and possible advances in medical technology. The details of CBO’s assessment are in the attachment to this letter. We would be pleased to address any further questions you might have. Sincerely, Douglas Holtz-Eakin Attachment cc: Honorable Harry Reid Minority Leader United States Senate Honorable Nancy Pelosi Minority Leader U.S. House of Representatives Honorable J. Dennis Hastert Speaker U.S. House of Representatives
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The Congress of the United States O Congressional Budget Office A Potential Influenza Pandemic: Possible Macroeconomic Effects and Policy Issues December 8, 2005; revised July 2 7 , 2006 This revision incorporates corrected estimates of the supply- side impact of a potential pandemic: about 2-1/4 percent in the severe scenario and about 1/2 percent in the mild scenario. The estimated overall impact on gross domestic product is about 4-1/4 percent in the severe scenario and about 1 percent in the mild scenario.
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Note This assessment was written by Robert Arnold, Jeanne De Sa, Tim Gronniger, Allison Percy, and Julie Somers under the supervision of Robert Dennis, Joseph Kile, David Moore, and Robert Sunshine. Outside the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the following individuals read an early draft and provided technical advice and helpful comments. However, the assistance of external reviewers implies no
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This note was uploaded on 05/30/2009 for the course PAM 2000 taught by Professor Evans,t. during the Spring '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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12-08-BirdFlu - CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE U.S. Congress...

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