Security must have priority in view of the announced easing of lock downs
The US economy is in free fall because of the Corona crisis. But easing protective measures too soon could backfire. Experts are already warning of a second epidemic in the fall. However, this danger could be reduced with a proven remedy.
Washington (dpa) – US President Donald Trump wants to free the US economy from the yoke of corona restrictions as quickly as possible – but now he is even putting the brakes on a Republican governor.
The announced loosening in the state of Georgia starting this Friday would come “too soon”, Trump said. “Security must come first,” the Republican said at the White House on Wednesday evening (local time). Governor Brian Kemp must do what he thinks is right, but he advised to continue to wait, Trump said. Meanwhile, his advisers have already warned of a second coronavirus epidemic in the fall. They therefore urged all Americans to get vaccinated against the flu this year in the interest of the common good.
WHAT ARE THE PLANS IN GEORGIA?
In the southern state with a population of around ten million, gyms, hairdressers and nail salons, among other things, will be able to reopen from Friday onwards, subject to certain regulations. From next Monday, this will also apply to theatres and restaurants. Bars and clubs, on the other hand, must remain closed. Governor Kemp has defended his plan as “well thought-out”. Virologist and presidential advisor Anthony Fauci, however, strongly warned against “jumping the gun” too hastily now. “Don’t do that,” he pleaded. If it is relaxed prematurely, the virus could come back with renewed strength.
ISN’T TRUMP IN A HURRY TOO?
Almost all Americans are subject to exit restrictions, the economy is largely at a standstill. President Trump is therefore advocating a return to normality as quickly as possible to avoid an even deeper economic slump. But he has left the decision to the governors of the 50 states. Experts therefore fear that this could lead to a dangerous patchwork quilt. One thing is clear: the new corona virus Sars-CoV-2 will not respect the invisible borders between individual US states.
WHAT’S THE SCHEDULE?
Trump last week presented guidelines according to which protection measures in the states can be relaxed in three phases if certain criteria are met. Among other things, the number of cases is to decrease before entering each phase over 14 days – but that is not yet the case in Georgia. Vice President Mike Pence stressed that the protective measures taken so far have been effective. The fastest way to overcome this phase would be for everyone to continue to adhere to the successful restrictions. “We all want to reopen America… …as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so,” said Pence. “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
IS THERE A THREAT OF ANOTHER CORONA EPIDEMIC IN THE FALL?
Government experts and Trump have different views. The President wants to “beat the virus once and for all”. He only admits that with the onset of the colder months there may be isolated new cases. But such “glowing earth” would be quickly erased, he promises. Trump’s top experts left no doubt in the same press conference, however. “I am convinced that we will have coronavirus in the fall,” said Fauci. Given the easy transmissibility of the virus and its global nature, this is inevitable, said Fauci.
WILL IT BE AS BAD AS BEFORE?
Experts cannot predict how the virus will behave. But the government can and will do everything necessary to be prepared for new outbreaks by then, Fauci said. “We will be much, much better prepared in autumn,” he said. One problem, however, could be that there could be a parallel seasonal flu epidemic starting in the fall, said Robert Redfield, head of the U.S. CDC. If there is a major coronavirus epidemic at the same time, the health sector could be overwhelmed in the worst case, he warned.
WHAT DOES THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SUGGEST?
In order to avoid a serious parallel outbreak, all people in the USA should get a flu vaccination this year, as Redfield demanded. The Americans must help their country and get vaccinated against the normal flu, he explained. The annual flu vaccination adapted to the current pathogen is normally only strongly recommended in the USA for risk groups such as the elderly and pregnant women. A flu vaccination offers extensive protection against an influenza infection. There is not yet a vaccine for the new coronavirus. In the best case scenario, experts expect an effective vaccination towards the middle of next year.
HOW BAD IS THE CURRENT EPIDEMIC?
By Wednesday evening (local time), there were more than 840,000 confirmed infections with the novel coronavirus, which can cause the lung disease Covid-19, in the USA according to researchers from the University of Johns Hopkins. Around 47,000 people died in the USA as a result of the epidemic. In the 24 hours since Tuesday evening alone, the number of victims had risen by more than 2000.
WHAT ABOUT THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES?
Since the start of strict coronavirus protection measures in mid-March, 22 million people have already lost their jobs. New weekly data on Thursday is expected to show, according to analysts, that in the week to April 18, some four million more people will have made an initial application for unemployment benefits. The US economy is likely to experience a deep recession this year.