Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
April 23
00:25 2020

The Value of a Life

To the Editor:

With Covid-19 deaths mounting in the U.S., perhaps this is a good time to come up with an amount that best represents the dollar value of a human life. To help with the math, I will employ one of North Carolina’s most successful investors, Senator Richard Burr. 

You may recall that shortly after attending a closed-door meeting that included warnings of a potentially devastating economic threat from the coronavirus, Senator Burr, on February 13, sold between $618,000 and $1,700,000 in stock, while at the same time downplaying the threat to the public. Weeks later, the market crashed, losing 30% of its value in a matter of days.

Research published on April 15 revealed that “the vast majority, as much as 90%, of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, could have been avoided if strict social distancing measures were imposed just two weeks earlier.” Read another way, had Senator Burr called the New York Times instead of his broker, tens of thousands of American lives could have been spared.

With that in mind, let’s do the math. Since deaths are increasing daily, we will use the total of 42,518 deaths as of April 20 in our calculations. Considering the research referenced above, 90% of those deaths, or 38,266 lives, were lost thanks to the suppression of critical information by Senator Burr, among others.

Based on his disclosures, Senator Burr avoided a 30% drop in his portfolio equivalent of between $185,400 and $510,000. By dividing these amounts by the number of avoidable deaths, we arrive at a valuation ranging from $4.85 to $13.33 per life lost. 

So, now we know how much our lives are worth to Senator Burr and, sadly, to his Republican colleagues who have remained silent in the face of his reprehensible behavior in a time of national crisis.

Jeffrey Zalles

Southport, NC

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors