A Telegraph journalist has suggested the coronavirus could ‘prove mildly beneficial’ to the UK economy by killing off elderly Brits. The bulk of the March 3rd article concentrated on the US making emergency interest rates cut to protect the economy against coronavirus. However, columnist Jeremy Warner went on to compare the virus with the Spanish flu, and how the 1918 pandemic ‘disproportionately affected’ young people, unlike the Covid-19 strain which ‘primarily kills the elderly’.
He reasoned the Spanish flu had a lasting impact on supply because it killed off ‘primary bread-winners’, which he said is unlikely to happen with coronavirus. But then he added: ‘Not to put too fine a point on it, from an entirely disinterested economic perspective, the COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.’
Screenshot from The Telegraph:
The Metro reports:
Responding to criticism in the article’s comments section, Warner said ‘on reflection’, he should not have used the word ‘cull’. But he said he is ‘unrepentant about the economic point I was trying to make’. He wrote: ‘Any thinning out of those of prime working age is a much bigger supply shock than the same thing among elderly retirees. ‘Obviously, for those affected it is a human tragedy whatever the age, but this is a piece about economics, not the sum of human misery.’