Coronavirus, the economy and the American election, the story thus far …

Whoever does the plot lines for our world is astonishingly creative but does tend to be highly melodramatic. So this is where we are. Our economies are coming good, the virtuous if eccentric Donald Trump is getting on top of things with some of the best economic outcomes in generations. Meanwhile, the Democrats go into self-destructive mode, creating a set of rules accompanied by a large crew of incompetents who allow not just anyone, but an out-and-out communist to take first place in the race for the nomination. In almost every conceivable circumstance, the communist must lose, unless there is a major recession. But then, just in time, along comes the coronavirus, knocking supply chains out of kilter across the world, with this coronavirus business looking like it might really create an international recession just in time for the election. Now read on, taken from Instapundit.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: A Coronavirus Pandemic Is Looking A Lot More Likely. Here’s What That Means.

Harvard scientist predicts coronavirus will infect up to 70 percent of humanity.

WHO says it’s too early to declare a coronavirus pandemic: ‘Now is the time to prepare’.

Coronavirus’s Global Spread May Not Be Contained, WHO Says.

As coronavirus spreads, the US is not fully prepared, but here is how we can be.

What’s it like to be in Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Citi, Credit Suisse among banks curbing Italy trips on coronavirus fears.

Dazed Italy Bickers and Seeks Reason for Coronavirus Spread.

Some Apple retail stores re-open in China after coronavirus closings.

Coronavirus fear sickens stock market, spreads need to diversify manufacturing.

Wall Street plunges as coronavirus spreads.

Global stock markets plunge on coronavirus fears. Though to be fair, I wonder how much the rise of Bernie has to do with this too.

Coronavirus and what needs to be done to get in front of global pandemics.

UPDATE: Yeah.

From here almost anything is possible. Comedy gold! Guaranteed to win the intergalactic Oscars, Tonies and an Emmy.

This entry was posted in Economics and economy, Elections, International. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Coronavirus, the economy and the American election, the story thus far …

  1. C.L.

    I dunno, Steve.
    Electorates tend to more firmly support the incumbent during crisis.
    The virus – if indeed it continues to be a crisis till the later part of the year – will probably assist Trump.

  2. Steve Kates

    Who knows? Not my favourite outcome but it is a worry. This came later on Instapundit:

    TRUMP’S WORST NIGHTMARE: Coronavirus tanks economy and hands race to socialist Bernie Sanders.
    Related: Trump asking Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus: White House.
    Earlier: Wall Street Tumbles Monday Amid Anxiety On Coronavirus, Bernie Sanders.
    UPDATE: Zoom, Clorox, and Other Stocks Rising on Coronavirus Fears.

  3. Infidel Tiger

    I doubt a viral pandemic will put people in the mood for demented socialist who now believes in open borders and socialists health care costs. The reverse would be true.

    But we need to stock up on canned goods and basic medicines, that is for sure.

  4. Infidel Tiger

    Coronavirus is complete validation of the Trump Doctrine.

    Failure to decouple from China will indeed kill us.

    The time to act is now.

  5. Roger W

    Any objective, rational information on the Coronavirus?
    About 3,500 Australians a year die of the “ordinary” ‘flu and maybe 400,000 to 600,000 a year world-wide, so dying of the ‘flu is not exactly unusual.
    So far, the death rate is maybe 1%, although it seems that quite a few people may be carriers/have the coronavirus but with minimal or even no symptoms, so maybe the death rate is much closer to the usual varieties of ‘flu?
    Then you have to ask why this massive panic?
    Anyone with any thoughts?

  6. Leo G

    Harvard University epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch is predicting the coronavirus “will ultimately not be containable” and, within a year, will infect somewhere between 40 and 70 percent of humanity, The Atlantic reports. But don’t be too alarmed. Many of those people, Lipsitch clarifies, won’t have severe illnesses or even show symptoms at all, which is already the case for many people who have tested positive for the virus.

    On present indications, 9% of those who test positive will be killed by the virus and another 10% will have long term health problems from the infection.
    So let’s hope quarantine and other regulatory measures can sufficiently slow the progression of the pandemic so that effective virus vaccines can be deployed.

  7. Infidel Tiger

    Then you have to ask why this massive panic?
    Anyone with any thoughts?

    Because of the unknown. It’s a much more virulent strain of flu.

    The Chicoms are also lying pieces of shit and we know very little of what is really happening.

  8. nb

    An almost perfect sequence of comments:

    1) C.L, #3334944, posted on February 25, 2020 at 11:03 pm:
    ‘Electorates tend to more firmly support the incumbent during crisis.’

    2) Infidel Tiger, #3334957, posted on February 25, 2020 at 11:20 pm:
    ‘Coronavirus is complete validation of the Trump Doctrine.’

    3) Infidel Tiger, #3334956, posted on February 25, 2020 at 11:17 pm:
    ‘I doubt a viral pandemic will put people in the mood for demented socialist’

    4) Roger W, #3334972, posted on February 25, 2020 at 11:48 pm asks:
    Any objective, rational information on the Coronavirus? … Then you have to ask why this massive panic?

    5) Leo G, #3334974, posted on February 25, 2020 at 11:49 pm:
    ‘On present indications, 9% of those who test positive will be killed by the virus and another 10% will have long term health problems from the infection.’

    The first 3 comments summarise a likely electoral outcome, certainly a desirable one. Number 4 asks the right questions, and number five gives a very tentative answer.
    a) Go buy some food of a type you’d likely have bought anyhow.
    b) Wait for reliable stats, such as those from Singapore and South Korea.
    c) And hope like hell November rolls around with the right answer to qs 1-3.

  9. Infidel Tiger

    The Associated Press
    @AP
    BREAKING: Iran Health Ministry spokesman says the head of country’s counter-coronavirus task force tested positive for the virus.
    8:11 PM · Feb 25, 2020·SocialFlow

  10. Porter

    Coronavirus fear sickens stock market, spreads need to diversify manufacturing.

    For every cloud, a silver lining.

  11. Scott Osmond

    Well, try arguing open borders and global trade with this blowing up in your face. It shouldn’t be all that hard to make the case especially with supply chain shortages. Link it to bringing the jobs home and painting the democrats as those who don’t care if you or the kiddies get sick.

  12. I was directly involved in the Y2K ’emergency’, project managing remedial action etc for one of the biggest organisations around. There were people involved who were stockpiling food etc in readiness for when the world collapsed. The longer I was involved, the more I became convinced that the forthcoming catastrophe was anything but, which is why climate change doesn’t worry me one bit.

    Those who believe in catastrophic climate change and want to destroy civilisation, should step up and get their dose of corona virus and do their bit to reduce the population and thus save the planet. I’m looking at you Greens and Albanese.

  13. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    It’s very much wait and see time. Depends on the case load and the virulence of the virus under Australian conditions. It may just become like a rather bad flu season; or it may be much worse than that. The main point is for our health services to have real plans for real actions and not just hopeful ‘outcomes’ for more meetings between a thousand different agencies and ‘voices’ which is what their plan looks like at the moment. Someone somewhere has to be in charge and able to make some quick and key decisions that reassure people the epidemic is under control, that basic food and other supplies are secure, and that good treatments are available for the sick. We will probably ask a lot of people to ‘self-quarantine’ – this requires public knowledge about how to do this while maintaining supplies and doctor visits and also to offer back up supports to people who are sick at home. Expecting the whole thing to simply fall into place as a million people make a million different decisions is where it might all fail. People need to know what to do, where to go, when and how.

    Trump is my man for quick and decisive action. Sadly, he’s not in Australia, but I hope the bushfires might have alerted Morrison to the need for quick and concentrated nationwide action from the top, not just letting the States bicker and witter as usual and the GP system to become a source of infection and incubation.

    The need to halt mass public meetings may set Trump’s campaign back somewhat, and that is a worry. He relies on those to get his message out.

  14. Iampeter

    Our economies are coming good, the virtuous if eccentric Donald Trump is getting on top of things with some of the best economic outcomes in generations.

    If you think trade and immigration regulating leftist, passing record breaking bailouts to industries his own policies are bankrupting, is “virtuous” and leads to “best economic outcomes in generations,” then you must love the democrats and it’s not clear why you’d be posting on what’s meant to be a right wing blog in the first place.

  15. JohnJJJ

    Then you have to ask why this massive panic?
    Anyone with any thoughts?

    Because many organizations feed off disasters. It is how they increase their budgets. This is a goldmine for them. Just watch who asks for extra “funds” er.. “resources”. Media gets clicks and advertising.

  16. Scott Osmond

    Elizabeth, I have no faith in those in charge of the health system. Not sure how things work in other states but in QLD our lot spent several years trying and failing to get a payment system to work. Another screw up they didn’t even do a google search on staff before hiring them and didn’t that cost them a pretty penny, along with the poor bastards killed and maimed by a health system who hired someone who had been banned from practicing medicine. It’s your life so take some simple precautions. Have enough food and necessaries so you can be isolated for 2/3 weeks without problems, avoid large gatherings of people, wash hands and don’t touch the face especially after touching shopping trolleys and public use doorhandles. You don’t have to go all prepper just use common sense. Meanwhile I’m sure the public health committees will find a way to make things worse.

  17. Judge Dredd

    I do think it’s a good idea to stock up on essentials, but more from economic or supply chain disruption from overreactive governments.
    So far all the stats from countries outside of China back up China’s stats, especially around a death rate of around 1-2%, within range of a bad flu.
    The question is; who profits from fear?

  18. Nob

    Maybe this generation observing the breakdown of comforts they take for granted that happens just from a few temporary travel bans will be less enthusiastic about destroying the economy with climate policies.

  19. Gwendolyn

    Wall Street plunges because of some errant health officials in Italy and people start pointing the finger at President Trump.

    So unfair.

  20. Ellen of Tasmania

    Even if this is just a ‘bad flu’, in Australia we will probably be coping with it as we head into winter. I hear that the U.S. had a couple of bad flu strains this year, so they might hit us all at once. That’s an enormous load on our health system.

    2017 was a bad flu year. Half the doctors in our regional area were out with it. I was sent to hospital and it was straining at the seams. So, perhaps three different flu strains with winter on the way isn’t super pretty, whichever way you look at it.

  21. Tel

    Someone somewhere has to be in charge and able to make some quick and key decisions that reassure people the epidemic is under control, that basic food and other supplies are secure, and that good treatments are available for the sick.

    No no people must learn that government will not be there to either wipe their arse, or save their arse when things start to go wrong.

    This is like the rugby players saying, “Oh well I guess Rugby Australia will do a better job next time!” Of course they won’t. Either you do the job yourselves or presume it ain’t getting done.

    Australian public hospitals struggle to get their act together on a good day, and they have a terrible track record with hospital spread infections. They have no hope providing decent care to a large number of patients needing quarantine conditions. None whatever, regardless of which up jumped little snot declares himself the boss of everyone.

  22. Tel

    But we need to stock up on canned goods and basic medicines, that is for sure.

    Given that this virus is known to smack the crap out of human immune systems (possibly by attacking T cells, depending on who you want to believe) … secondary infection is to be expected and likely to be the thing that finishes you off if the cytokine storm doesn’t knock you down first.

    But oh our helpful regulations make it illegal to buy antibiotics and keep them on the shelf as a precaution. Thanks for making me less safe! Someone has to be in chaaaaarge!!

    What’s worse, if you do get sick you then need to take your sickness to the doctor’s office, and then to the chemist and stand around trying not to cough too much while they scratch their nuts filling in a mile of bullshit paperwork at the chemist. Then after you have infected a minimum of three other people you finally get your antibiotics.

    Oh thank you thank you for your moronic regulations … I’m so happy someone is in chaaaaaarge!!

  23. Chris M

    As Peter Navarro says this China-origin virus is both a health and economic contagion. Having returned from Asia earlier this month it is a very big deal there and comparisons with the seasonal flu are silly.

    1) If you use prescription medications make sure you have stock.
    2) Actively attempt to avoid buying products made in communist China, especially larger value items. I’ve been doing this for some time now and it’s worked out well for me.

  24. Viva

    The main point is for our health services to have real plans for real action

    Visiting RPA hospital yesterday I noticed a sign saying “Coronavirus Clinic”.

    Hand sanitisers are proliferatng everywhere.

  25. Eyrie

    “Then you have to ask why this massive panic?
    Anyone with any thoughts?”

    Because the lying Chicom murdering thugs and kidnappers must know something really bad to take the economic hit they are inflicting on themselves.

  26. mh

    Iampeter, should the Australian government be restricting passenger travel into the country in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus?

    What would a ‘right wing’ government do?

  27. Archivist

    CL is right. Even if it all goes to shit, this is unlikely to hurt Trump.

    With everything that happens, the media fantasises that it will damage him. Sometimes they’re right, but having survived the Mueller enquiry and impeachment, he’s pretty much unstoppable at this point.

    If the economy tanks from a clear, definable, external cause, the political leaders can avoid much or all blame.

    Incidentally, this is a good reason for Morrison KEEPING the travel ban in place. The economy is toast at this point, no matter what. Morrison needs to make sure that the reasons are attached either to coronavirus directly, or the travel ban response. If he takes it away and the economy tanks, the pundits will say ” can’t have been the travel ban, it was only in place for a couple of weeks. Surely it must be due to something else.”

  28. Struth

    Our economies are coming good,

    Did you notice you made that plural?

    If you meant to, which other economy bar the States did you mean?

  29. Anthony

    @Tel

    Given that this virus is known to smack the crap out of human immune systems (possibly by attacking T cells, depending on who you want to believe) … secondary infection is to be expected and likely to be the thing that finishes you off if the cytokine storm doesn’t knock you down first.

    Both SARS and MERS affected T cells and other immune cells, it is likely COVID-19 will do the same.

    But oh our helpful regulations make it illegal to buy antibiotics and keep them on the shelf as a precaution.

    Our GP has given my wife antibiotic scripts ‘just in case’. She was given pretty clear guidelines of when to use them (how bad she is feeling, phlegm colour etc). That said, if everyone stocked antibiotics and took them regularly, we are going to have long term problems of increased resistance and less effective medicine. The thing that we should be able to stock are anti-virals like Tamiflu to stop the actual virus.

    On a slightly different note, I have a colleague who is a microbiologist and got her research matter on herself accidentally. Going to the GP, they prescribed her the the incorrect antibiotic (but correct according to their advisory table). Of course, having worked for years on this organism she knows what will kill it and what it is resistant to, so, it seems the antibiotic advisory tables are out of date.

    What’s worse, if you do get sick you then need to take your sickness to the doctor’s office, and then to the chemist and stand around trying not to cough too much while they scratch their nuts filling in a mile of bullshit paperwork at the chemist. Then after you have infected a minimum of three other people you finally get your antibiotics.

    People need to ask to go to their GPs isolation room. Don’t know what to do about the pharmacy. The wife and I, if one is sick the other goes and fills the script. Probably your doctor should be able to give you half a weeks supply and you get the rest online or whatever.

    The thing that has surprised me, walking around last weekend, is just the lack of hand-washing facilities. My local Woolworths has a disinfectant station , but everywhere else including my GP, pharmacy etc – no such luck.

  30. The thing that has surprised me, walking around last weekend, is just the lack of hand-washing facilities. My local Woolworths has a disinfectant station , but everywhere else including my GP, pharmacy etc – no such luck.

    During the SARS outbreak, my workplace unions demanded that disinfectant dispensers be installed in all washrooms etc, which they were. Then, not long after, a study came out that these disinfectants could cause cancer, so most everyone stopped using them.

  31. Anthony

    @ bemused

    During the SARS outbreak, my workplace unions demanded that disinfectant dispensers be installed in all washrooms etc, which they were. Then, not long after, a study came out that these disinfectants could cause cancer, so most everyone stopped using them.

    That is interesting. I work in a lab and until recently we had chlorhexidine based hand wash, which is in a lot of hospitals. From what I’ve read it has anti-cancer activity. The main issue for us was that it really, terribly dries out your hands so we switched to Microshield neutral formula – which is basically just soap. I know that the foaming agents supposedly raises your cancer risk, although I can’t find any recent evidence on what dosages etc raise your risk and by how much.

  32. Leo G

    So far all the stats from countries outside of China back up China’s stats, especially around a death rate of around 1-2%, within range of a bad flu.

    The confirmed global case fatality rate (CFR|T=7) as reported on 8th February was 5.7% (based on the assumption of 7 days as the average period from case confirmation to death). Those 2% figures are estimates using a ratio that is biased by the number of unresolved cases (cumulative total deaths / cumulative confirmed cases).
    The best present indicator is the simplest- the ratio of confirmed deaths to the sum of deaths and recoveries- which indicates a 9% overall death rate (14% excluding China).
    Hopefully, the infection rates will reduce over the next few weeks and possibly the CFR for recent cases will also drop.

  33. Iampeter

    What would a ‘right wing’ government do?

    It’s good that you ask a question like this.
    I mean, it’s not like you’ve spent years reading and posting on “right wing” blogs and fancy yourself “right wing” but still don’t even know what “right wing” even means, right?
    Not sure how you could live that down.

    Anyway, for the record, here’s the basics:
    Right wing means supporting a rights-protecting government.
    That means a government that may close roads and search property for the duration of a dangerous man-hunt, or restrict travel during a dangerous virus outbreak, etc.

    This is distinctive from the conservative position which doesn’t even take rights into account because conservatives don’t what that is or why it’s important and goes something lik this:
    The government should restrict immigration. Why? Er…um…insert circular reasoning, false analogies and other random talking points that have nothing to do with politics.
    So it goes for EVERY issue.

    This is why conservatism = politically illiterate left.

    Hopefully that’s cleared things up.

  34. mh

    Right wing means supporting a rights-protecting government.
    That means a government that may close roads and search property for the duration of a dangerous man-hunt, or restrict travel during a dangerous virus outbreak, etc.

    Yes, stop the planes flying in from China.

    Like we’ve been calling for from the beginning of the outbreak.

    Iampeter is finally with us! Stop the bat-botherers NOW!

  35. Iampeter

    No, I’m not with you.
    You don’t anything about politics, have literally ignored everything that’s been explained to you in order to avoid facing the fact of how little you know, and have absolutely no idea what’s going on, or where to even begin.

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