If large-scale shutdown policies had not been put in place when the coronavirus outbreak began in the U.S., there would have been an estimated 60 million more infected Americans, according to a new study.
The study, published by the scientific journal Nature, involved a modeling technique typically used for estimating economic growth to measure the effect of shutdown policies across China, South Korea, Iran, France, Italy and the U.S., CNN reported.
The study, which ended on April 6, suggests that if those six countries had not utilized shutdown policies, an additional 500 million people would have been infected, including 60 million in the U.S.
“I don’t think any human endeavor has ever saved so many lives in such a short period of time,” said Solomon Hsiang, the study’s lead author and a professor and director of the Global Policy Laboratory at the University of California. “There have been huge personal costs to staying at home and canceling events, but the data show that each day made a profound difference. By using science and cooperating, we changed the course of history.”