Coronavirus, The Stock Market, And The Economy

If the coronavirus becomes very widespread, we could see enormous economic impacts. If people become very worried that they can catch the disease if they go out in public, this will mean many fewer people will go to restaurants, sports events, movie theaters, and concerts, or anyone else where they are likely to be in close proximity to large numbers of people. Many of these businesses are likely to shut down, at least until the major threat of the virus has passed.

Plane travel will also be drastically curtailed, as few people will want to be on a crowded plane, which could include several people with the virus. That will be a huge blow to the tourism industry, as people put off vacations, until the threat lessons.

There are few areas of the economy that would not be affected if the virus becomes as widespread as was the case in Wuhan China and possibly now in parts of Japan. It would be good if the United States had an effective public health team that could take the necessary steps to limit the spread of the virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does have top-notch experts in this area.

However, it is not clear that they will be making the big decisions. Trump has placed Vice-President Pence in charge of the response to the epidemic. Pence is a person who does not believe in evolution or climate change. In other words, science is not his strong suit.

Furthermore, it is clear that Trump and Pence are more worried about the politics around Coronavirus than effective steps to stop its spread. They have demanded that all public statements about the disease must first be cleared with Pence. They have already acted to punish a whistleblower who called attention to the fact that passengers exposed to the virus on a cruise ship were greeted by people without protective gear and without medical training.

We may still get lucky, and the spread of the virus may be fairly limited in the United States. But with the containment effect being led by a bunch of vindictive clowns, people are quite right to be worried about the public’s health and prospects for the economy.

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Charles Howard 1 year ago Member's comment

Dean Baker It’s been a rollercoaster market in recent days for equity investors, and today we appear to be on the downward leg for that ride.

Gary Anderson 1 year ago Contributor's comment

Well, it is in Maryland now. It will eventually hit DC and we will see if Trump gets more serious.