Different Takes: Congress Takes Advantage Of Coronavirus By Calling For More Spending; Time To Hope Everyone In The World Washes Their Hands
Opinion writers weigh in on issues surrounding efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Wall Street Journal:
The Spending Virus
Cue the inevitable gripes from Congress that this isn’t nearly enough. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the request “long overdue and completely inadequate.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the Administration’s proposal to tap some of the money from an Ebola preparedness account an example of Mr. Trump’s “towering incompetence.” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican, worried that the White House was “lowballing” the emergency. We’d take these complaints seriously if they were based on any expertise or factual understanding of the threat. (2/25)
Coronavirus Sure Doesn’t Seem ‘Very Well Under Control’
The end result is an inescapable sense that this thing is pretty far from “very well under control.” One huge problem for reassuring both markets and the general public is that Trump has spent his term stripping America’s pandemic-response apparatus for parts. He keeps trying to gouge the CDC’s budget, has defenestrated whole teams of experts, hasn’t bothered to name a coronavirus “czar” and may be seeking too little money for a response. (Mark Gongloff, 2/25)
The Washington Post:
Coronavirus Will Test Whether The Planet Can Unite In The Face Of A Global Crisis
Doctors have been preparing for 15 years for “the big one,” a pandemic that will rock the global public health system like an earthquake. Now, with the rapid spread of coronavirus, it may be happening. This viral outbreak probably won’t look like anything that most of us have seen. Some schools may be closed; sports schedules will be modified; travel plans will be shelved; and some workers will be advised to stay at home and telecommute. The infrastructure for delivering food and other essentials will be stretched. U.S. public health officials on Tuesday warned of the “inevitable” spread of the virus in the United States. (David Ignatius, 2/25)
The New York Times:
Wall Street Gets Worried About The Coronavirus
The big surprise was not that global markets fell sharply this week on fears of the coronavirus, but that it took so long for them to wake up to the threat. Before Monday, Wall Street was full of instant experts in epidemiology predicting — on the basis of widely circulated charts showing that the number of new cases had peaked in China — that “it’s over.” This sanguine state was symptomatic of a bull market that is now 11 years old, the longest in history, and also one of the calmest. In the past decade, stock prices approached a full 20 percent “correction” only twice, and suffered even minor dips much less frequently than in most previous bull markets. (Ruchir Sharma, 2/25)
Will The Coronavirus Kill The Global Economy?
It’s the $85 trillion (global GDP) question: Will the coronavirus kill the global economy? What we know is incredibly scary. The disease is a prolific killer and a stealthy one at that. Over 2 percent of its victims die. For people in their 80s, the death rate is around 10 percent. The latest information suggests that the virus can incubate in one’s body for as long as a month before producing symptoms. (Laurence Kotlikoff, 2/25)
Hey Democrats, What About That Virus?
Democrats on Tuesday night’s debate stage in South Carolina failed to see the opportunity presented by two days of plunging stock markets. The Dow Jones sank nearly 8% on fears the fast-spreading coronavirus will infect the global economy. Economists are warning the virus may disrupt trade and global supply chains and trigger a recession. If a significant downturn comes, it would undermine President Donald Trump’s greatest argument for reelection — the strength of the economy under his watch. (Nolan Finley, 2/26)