About a quarter of all Americans are under orders to close up shop and stay home. Lawmakers in the District of Columbia are nearing a stimulus deal. It could pump over a trillion dollars into the economy. The agreement is on the stated need for a stimulus package. All want to limit the economic damage from the corolla virus. None agree how best to do this. Can you say the road to hell is paved with good intentions?
There are about 15,000 reported cases of the Chinese Flu in the United States. Around 200 people have died from the Wuhan virus as of Saturday. A tally of state and local government websites is higher than CDC numbers. New Jersey became the latest state yesterday to adopt a statewide directive. The state is requiring residents to remain indoors except for trips to “essential businesses.” Essential businesses they define as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations.
New Jersey, California, New York, Illinois and Connecticut have imposed statewide restrictions. The reason is to slow the spread of infections of corolla virus. Governors in other states are urging citizens to avoid large gatherings. The effect is a massive self-inflicted economic slowdown.
Pushing a piece of spaghetti
In the District of Columbia there appears to be an approaching federal stimulus deal. If rumors are correct it will pump more than $1 trillion into the economy. This will add hundreds of billions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus. This in addition to what has already been done to prop up the America’s economy.
Mitch McConnell has a vote on the schedule for Monday.
Airlines are pressing for $29 billion in cash. In return they are promising not to furlough employees before September. Lawmakers say they prefer to offer loans. Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have tested positive for the virus. Hospitals are bracing for an influx of patients.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the administration’s top infectious disease expert. He urges Americans to postpone non-essential surgeries to keep beds available. The administration is working to line up diagnostic tests, masks, and medical equipment. There is sufficient equipment and space for the identified cases. The projections show the possibility of an unchecked spread overwhelming the available resources.
Is there a cure? If there is: What’s the requirement for stimulus?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued approval for a test. It can deliver a result in 45 minutes, rather than days, according to Cepheid, its maker. White House officials say they are delivering more tests and equipment where the need is.
State and local officials say they are still scrambling for supplies. The media have contributed to heightening a level of fear now approaching panic. Part of the problem is having the available resources where they find their highest and best use. There is a general lack of understanding of the disease among the public. We have no understanding of available resources nearby. This is keeping people spooked.
What we do and why we do it…
The stay-at-home orders now apply to a third of the nation’s economy. Other states encourage residents to reduce activity but with no legal restrictions in place. Missouri went in a different direction. It is allowing child-care providers to take on more children. The state directives are, for the most part, in place without strict enforcement mechanisms.
About a quarter of all Americans are under orders to close up shop and stay home. If the cure claims can be verified stimulus action is not indicated. The reason is simple. You cannot lock people in their houses and hope that government spending is going to be anything but a waste. Nobody can go anywhere or do anything. There are far fewer business transactions occurring.
Shouldn’t we keep our powder dry until we see the whites of their eyes? “Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Literary Remains, Vol. 1