Others argue that Americans have little choice. The cost of a widespread pandemic, similar to Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918, which killed 675,000 Americans (and 50 million worldwide), would be devastating. The Trust for America's Health, a Washington-based non-profit organization, estimates that a severe pandemic could push down GDP by more than 5 percent and cost Americans $683 billion.
"We're not seeing a pandemic that's this severe," says Jeff Levi, director of Trust for Americas Health. "We've dodged a lot of bullets."