Philadelphia (CBS) – On Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Dom Giordano hosted a forum at LaSalle University to address Ebola and talked to economist Dr. Walter Schubert about the economic impact of the virus.
Schubert said the real economic damage is happening in the countries with the most Ebola cases.
“Liberia’s economy has been hurt severely, as is true of Guinea and Sierra Leone as well. This is because companies had to shut down. There’s fear across the country. Also, we have to worry about the money the government is spending to fight Ebola, so it’s not spent in another direction…The cost is complicated to calculate. The World Bank has made some estimates, running from $4 Billion to $32 Billion, depending on how much it spreads.”
He believes the international community will pull together to keep countries dealing with Ebola pandemics solvent, so economic failures don’t make the problem worse.
“The World Bank is inferring that we should be helping these Countries to stay afloat because we’re looking at three of the poorest countries in the world, in Guniea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia…corruption is, of course, a problem.”
Schubert also explained why the pharmaceutical companies may be reluctant to invest heavily in developing a vaccine to defeat the virus.
“In deciding which types of drugs to pursue, a pharmacy is going to pursue those they think are going to be highly profitable. Obviously they now think this is a more profitable idea than it used to be. But if we control this, and that’s the end of it, than a lot of that investment money will have probably gone to waste because they won’t be selling it.”