How do you choose between economic ‘deaths of despair’ and coronavirus victims? Economists, lawmakers grapple with a moral conundrum

How do you strike a balance between the country’s economic life and actual human life?

Is putting America back to work sooner rather than later a Sisyphean task, the equivalent of rolling a rock perpetually uphill while up to 2 million people die of COVID-19? Or does the Sisyphean task involve waiting, while millions more people lose their businesses and livelihoods, only to find themselves among the long-term unemployed or underemployed, eventually succumbing to substance abuse and chronic depression, and even perhaps, as the president forecasts, suicide?

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft

MSFT, -0.96%

and now a megaphilanthropist whose foundation focuses in large part on fostering global health, issued…

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