Monday, February 24, 2020

The Coronavirus Outbreak

Just a few days ago, there was a limited outbreak of confirmed Coronavirus in Iran. And then it seemed to appear everywhere. In response, stock markets all over the world have plummeted:
Wall Street plunged Monday morning after another spike in the number of coronavirus cases created fears for global economic growth. NBC News reported that Monday was the worst opening of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since last August, with a drop of 950 points. Stocks related to travel, such as casinos and flights, were among the hardest hit. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “Markets are now slaves to the news flow.” While the spread of the virus appeared to be slowing down in China, fresh outbreaks in South Korea, Iran, and Italy have stoked fears that the global outbreak will still get worse. “The spike in infections in South Korea, mostly concentrated in the congregation of a single church, a surge in cases in Italy, and news of an outbreak in Iran, where the health-care system is of uncertain quality and the government is secretive, has triggered fears that China’s aggressive quarantining efforts won't keep the virus from spreading globally,” said Shepherdson.

Our "president" is all over it:
As the US health care system watches the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in China and braces for a potential local outbreak, President Trump is looking to cut funding for public health preparedness programs.

The administration’s proposed 2021 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cuts $25 million from the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response and $18 million from the Hospital Preparedness Program. The administration also asked for over $85 million in cuts to the Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases program.

“To be clear, these programs are already underfunded,” tweeted Nicolette Louissaint, executive director of Healthcare Ready, a nonprofit that works to make health care supply chains more resilient.
I can assure you that Trump's friends are probably going to profit from this latest phase of disaster capitalism because they're probably getting public health briefings before the American people receive them. This is how the autocrat rewards the people who keep him in power. Right now, someone connected with Trump is building out a portfolio that will include coffins, remembrance wreaths, and an advertising plan that will blame Obama for inventing Coronavirus.

This is the most anti-knowledge, anti-science president in modern history. If there is a dumber response than saying that the warmer weather will kill off Coronavirus, I don't know what it would be.

Trump is extremely bad at governing, and if that, in and of itself, doesn't guarantee his defeat in November, what the hell would?

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