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Goldman Sachs says a national mask mandate could slash infections and save economy from a 5% hit

A federal face mask mandate would not only cut the daily growth rate of new confirmed cases of Covid-19, but could also save the U.S. economy from taking a 5% GDP hit in lieu of additional lockdowns, according to Goldman Sachs. close dialog Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief economist, said his team investigated the link between face masks and Covid-19 health and economic outcomes and found that facial coverings are associated with sizable and statistically significant results.

“We find that face masks are associated with significantly better coronavirus outcomes,” Hatzius wrote in a note to clients. “Our baseline estimate is that a national mandate could raise the percentage of people who wear masks by 15 (percentage points) and cut the daily growth rate of confirmed cases by 1.0 (percentage point) to 0.6%.”

 “If a face mask mandate meaningfully lowers coronavirus infections, it could be valuable not only from a public health perspective but also from an economic perspective because it could substitute for renewed lockdowns that would otherwise hit GDP,” Hatzius wrote.