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China’s Covid Negligence Cost US $18 Trillion: Report

China’s Negligence on Covid Caused $18 Trillion in Damage to US Economy: Heritage Foundation Report

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A recent report by the Heritage Foundation has brought to light the staggering economic toll of China’s negligence during the Covid-19 pandemic. The report estimates that the United States suffered approximately $18 trillion in economic damage due to the mishandling and initial cover-up of the virus by Chinese authorities. This revelation underscores the far-reaching impact of the pandemic, highlighting both economic repercussions and the necessity for accountability.

According to a report from the commission from the Heritage Foundation’s Nonpartisan Commission on China and COVID-19 viewed by Fox Business, the commission found that the pandemic’s total cost added up to around $18 trillion. The number represents over $8.6 trillion due to excess deaths, over $1.825 trillion income lost; $6 trillion from chronic conditions from “long COVID”, as well as mental health loss at about $1 trillion.

This is in addition to educational losses of $435 billion, all totaling over $18 trillion in damages to the US.

The Heritage Foundation’s analysis, detailed in a comprehensive report, delves into the multifaceted economic impact caused by the pandemic. It cites a range of factors contributing to the immense financial loss, including widespread business closures, job losses, healthcare expenditures, and disruptions to global supply chains. The report posits that China’s failure to provide timely and transparent information about the virus significantly exacerbated the situation, leading to more severe economic consequences than might have otherwise occurred.

Economic Devastation: Unemployment and Business Closures

One of the primary aspects examined in the report is the surge in unemployment rates during the pandemic. Millions of Americans found themselves out of work as businesses across the country were forced to shut down or significantly reduce their operations. The hospitality, retail, and entertainment sectors were particularly hard hit, with many establishments unable to recover even after restrictions were lifted. This surge in unemployment not only affected individual livelihoods but also strained the social safety net and led to increased government spending on unemployment benefits and stimulus measures.

The report highlights that the initial underreporting and mismanagement of the outbreak by Chinese authorities directly contributed to the rapid spread of the virus. The delay in implementing travel restrictions and providing accurate data on the virus’s transmissibility allowed Covid-19 to gain a foothold globally, making it exponentially more difficult to contain. This mismanagement is argued to be a critical factor in the extensive economic damage sustained by the US.

Healthcare Costs and System Strain

The pandemic placed an unprecedented strain on the US healthcare system, leading to significant financial costs. Hospitals were overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients, necessitating the diversion of resources and personnel from other essential medical services. The cost of treating Covid-19 patients, combined with the expenses related to vaccine development and distribution, added billions to the healthcare burden. The Heritage Foundation report points out that these costs could have been mitigated had China acted more responsibly at the onset of the outbreak.

In addition to direct healthcare costs, the report discusses the broader economic impact of health-related disruptions. The need for social distancing and quarantine measures led to a decline in consumer spending and business investment. Schools and universities were forced to shift to remote learning, impacting the education sector and future workforce development. These disruptions collectively contributed to the $18 trillion economic loss estimated by the Heritage Foundation.

Supply Chain Disruptions

Global supply chains experienced significant disruptions due to the pandemic, affecting industries ranging from manufacturing to technology. The initial outbreak in Wuhan, a major industrial hub, caused factory shutdowns and delays in production that rippled across the globe. The report emphasizes that the lack of early and accurate information from China exacerbated these disruptions, leading to shortages of critical goods and increased production costs. American companies faced delays and increased expenses as they sought to navigate the uncertain supply chain landscape.

Furthermore, the report criticizes China for its lack of cooperation with international investigations into the origins of the virus. The opacity and reluctance to share information hindered global efforts to understand and combat the pandemic effectively. This lack of transparency not only prolonged the health crisis but also intensified the economic fallout.

Calls for Accountability

The findings of the Heritage Foundation report have sparked renewed calls for accountability and reparations from China. There is a growing sentiment among policymakers and the public that China should be held responsible for the economic damage caused by its negligence. The report advocates for stronger international mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability in managing global health crises. It also suggests that the US should pursue economic and diplomatic measures to address the financial harm inflicted by the pandemic.

The excess deaths totaled 1,476,457 in the US from 2020 to 2022 at the height of the pandemic. Real GDP took a hit and was 2.5 percent below what it had been projected to be during that time, according to the report. With regard to the origins of COVID, the commission found that it “very likely stemmed from a research-related incident in Wuhan, China.” 

Conservative Perspectives

From a conservative perspective, the Heritage Foundation report reinforces the importance of holding China accountable for its actions. The economic devastation experienced by the US is a stark reminder of the need for strong international policies and agreements to prevent future crises. The call for reparations and stricter global health protocols aligns with a broader conservative agenda advocating for national security and economic sovereignty.

Additionally, the report’s emphasis on the failures of international cooperation highlights the necessity for the US to take a leading role in global health governance. The conservative viewpoint underscores that reliance on international bodies alone is insufficient and that national interests must be prioritized to safeguard economic stability and public health.


The Heritage Foundation’s report on the economic impact of China’s negligence during the Covid-19 pandemic presents a compelling case for accountability and reform. The estimated $18 trillion in economic damage to the US serves as a stark reminder of the far-reaching consequences of the pandemic. As the world continues to recover, it is imperative that lessons are learned, and measures are implemented to prevent such a crisis from occurring again. The call for accountability from China is not only justified but necessary to ensure a more transparent and resilient global health system in the future.

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Eric Thompson

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