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The Heller School: CISWH Board Member Explains How Pandemics Threaten U.S. Lives, Health Systems, & Economic Stability

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

CISWH Board member A.K. Nandakumar, professor of the Practice, director of the MS Program in Global Health Policy and Management, and the Institute for Global Health and Development recently conducted a Q&A with The Heller School for Social Policy and Management on “COVID Relief Programs Have Resulted in Skyrocketing Global Debt.

The United States have seen an overwhelming increase in debt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Nandakumar, this increase means that “the fiscal space that you have to invest in social programs and economic growth shrinks, which has huge ramifications on labor markets, on economic growth, on the cost and price of things.” Nandakumar calls for our current administration to keep our communities safe by supporting the reopening of schools and bringing people back to work through strong policy interventions. 

Excerpt from “COVID Relief Programs Have Resulted in Skyrocketing Global Debt:”

“We are an incredibly globally interconnected economy, so labor and supply chain issues that take place in India or China, for example, impact the cost of commodities in the U.S. People now have a lot of money that they want to spend, but supply is not keeping up with demand, so prices go up. This disproportionately impacts the pocketbooks of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Groceries, rents, back to school supplies, home appliances are all costing a lot more. Used car prices are up 40 to 50 percent. These are essentials. In all probability the wage gains made by those in the lower income groups have been more than wiped out by inflation.”

Read the full article here.