The United States has become the international focus of the coronavirus pandemic, and its role as the heart of the world economic system and the great architect of the international system will determine the future of the rest of the world. With 73,566 deaths, the North American country accumulates 27.8% of all the fatal victims registered in the world by COVID-19, according to data from John Hopkins University. It also currently has 42% of all active cases registered on the planet.
Despite the recommendations of his health experts, President Donald Trump is pressing for the reopening because “this country did not rise to be closed.” “We cannot keep our country closed, we have to open it. People are not going to accept it and they should not. We have a great country, we cannot keep it closed,” the president insisted on Wednesday.RELATED
In the past, economic disaster has quickly jumped from the world’s leading economic power to the rest of the world. It happened in the Great Depression of 1929, it happened in the Great Recession of 2008 and experts fear that it will happen in the Great Closing of 2020. “It is very likely that this year the global economy will suffer its worst recession since the Great Depression, beating the lived one a decade ago during the global financial crisis, “notes the latest IMF world economic outlook report. According to the agency’s data, the evolution of world production in 2020 will be -3% (in the 2008 crisis it was -0.1%). In the case of the US, GDP will go from 2.3% growth in 2019 to -5.9% this year.
“The so-called Great Closure is projected to dramatically sink global growth. A partial recovery is expected in 2021, but the level of GDP will remain below the pre-virus trend, with considerable uncertainty about the strength of that recovery,” he says. the IMF. “Much worse growth results are possible and even likely. This would happen if the pandemic and containment measures last longer, if emerging economies are more severely affected, if tight financial conditions persist or if scarring effects occur. ‘due to firm closings and prolonged unemployment, “he adds.
Juan de Lucio, professor of World Economy at the University of Alcalá de Henares, points out: “The weight of the United States in the world is approximately 15% and has been experiencing a decreasing trend, mainly due to the impulse of Asian countries. This trend will continue in 2020 and it will probably get worse. ” “The United States is a fundamental piece in the world economic machinery and without a return to normality in this ec onomy it will be difficult to recover activity globally. The ties and direct and indirect effects of the United States on other economies are very powerful,” he adds.
Gita Gopinath, director of the IMF’s research department, says on the institution’s blog: “The magnitude and speed of the collapse of activity is unprecedented in our lives. It is a crisis like no other and there are many uncertainties about its impact Much depends on the epidemiology of the virus, the effectiveness of containment measures, and the development of vaccines and treatments, all of which are difficult to predict. ” “There are considerable doubts about what the economic scenario will be like when we exit this closure,” he adds.
“The United States is a few weeks behind in the incidence of the pandemic in relation to Europe. In this sense, a worsening of the situation can be expected,” explains De Lucio. However, after several weeks of total or partial closure, 30 US states have already started or will soon reopen economic activity. Of these, the vast majority (21) do not meet the general guidelines and do so with more new cases or with a higher percentage of positive tests than two weeks ago, according to The New York Times.
On the other hand, the AP agency has published this Thursday that the Trump government has kept in the drawer a detailed guide to reopen the country prepared by the main disease control agency (CDC). The daily Politico published conversations on Wednesday between the emergency agency (FEMA) and the health agency (HHS) in which experts warned of the danger of reopening economic activity, warning of an increase in deaths and a shortage of respirators.
Caitlin Rivers, expert at the John Hopkins center for Health Security declared this Wednesday in a committee of the House of Representatives that no state had met all the criteria established by the White House as recommendations to reopen their respective economies. “As far as I know, there are no states that meet all four criteria,” he said. These criteria are: decrease in the number of cases in the last two weeks, ability to diagnose all those with symptoms, ability to trace and contact new cases and ability of the healthcare system to treat all infected patients. “We suggest that all four requirements should be met,” he said.
“Social tensions will be more evident in the United States than in other countries due to differences in management between states, less coverage of their social benefits, and the intensity and speed of the slowdown. There are still doubts about the ability to quickly control the crisis in some areas of the US, “says De Lucio.
“The US economy is much more flexible than the European one and that is why its incidence in variables such as unemployment and income distribution may be higher. In seasonally adjusted terms, 33.5 million workers have asked for unemployment benefits Approximately one in five workers. The unemployment rate was below 4% and at the end of the crisis it will have multiplied by four or five, “he adds.