Coronavirus in America: the good, the bad, the ugly

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Here is what is going on in Covid-19 America. Some things are good, some things are bad, and some things are downright ugly.

The good

The Trump administration is providing strong leadership during this Chinese coronavirus crisis.  A vaccine for Covid-19 is already being tested. An anti-malarial drug, Chloroquine, is a possible treatment for those who have contracted the virus. President Trump has closed the northern and southern borders to all but essential traffic.

According to the NIH,

A Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, emphasized the importance of both the speed and the study. “This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”

A California research company, Cepheid has developed a “rapid” coronavirus test. Currently, it takes more than a day to get a test. According to Live Science:

The tests were developed by California-based company Cepheid and will be shipped to U.S. facilities by March 30, according to an FDA announcement. However, right now, the tests are likely only going to be used in a hospital setting, where a patient is already in an emergency room or hospital triage wing and needs to be diagnosed rapidly, STAT reported.

President Trump has spent the last few days talking about an anti-malarial drug, chloroquine, that might help treat victims of the coronavirus. Chloroquine is a cheap and effective anti-malarial drug used to reduce fever and inflammation in malaria patients.

It is being tested by the FDA and it has been approved for “compassionate” use, meaning, it can be used if an infected person requests it.

Dr. Anthony Fauci talks about the hopeful prospects of the drug:

According to James Gallagher, BBC health correspondent, “Chloroquine seems to block the coronavirus in lab studies. There’s some anecdotal evidence from doctors saying it has appeared to help.”

Border closings

President Trump was considering closing our southern border way back in February. Predictably, there was a large outcry from the media, but now not only the southern but also the northern border are closed to all but essential crossings. The president explained:

“As we did with Canada, we’re also working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry to suspend non-essential travel. These new rules and procedures will not impede lawful trade and commerce.”

The Bad

Millions of Americans and American businesses have been shut down. There is a shortage of some medical necessaries like respirators, ventilators, masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment otherwise known as PPE.

The cost of idling millions of Americans has not been counted or realized yet, but one could imagine that when the world’s largest economy is slowed down or stopped, billions, and probably trillions will be lost. It is hard to find any data or even speculation about this aspect of the impact of the Chinese coronavirus.

Some American politicians, like Senator Josh Hawley are calling for China to be held financially responsible for the economic devastation, saying that the cost in lives and money would not be so high if China had been honest about the start and spread of the virus in Wuhan. Instead, China hid the information and allowed travel in and out of China for weeks. President Trump instituted a travel ban to and from China in January.

Many of our medical supplies and drugs are imported from China and other countries. Medical supplies like respirators, ventilators, gloves, and facemasks are in high demand as over a hundred countries are now fighting the coronavirus. President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to redirect American companies to start prioritizing and producing the supplies we need to fight the virus.

The Ugly

The number of cases of coronavirus in the US continues to climb as testing becomes more widespread. The US stock market and all other markets have tanked, wiping out trillions of dollars of wealth.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of cases in Italy has risen to over 41,000, with hundreds of deaths each day overwhelming the Italian morgues. The US numbers are rising, too, but not as fast at this point.

As Dr. Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said, Americans can expect the infection rate to get worse before it gets better. Americans are being asked to practice “social distancing” in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

The US stock market has tanked over the last few weeks. It has been a blood bath. Just as the market frequently set records in its meteoric rise since President Trump won the 2016 election, it also set astounding records as its rapid fall erased all the gains of the last 3 and half years.

The Dow Jones Industrial fell from a record high of  29,551  points on February 12 to 19,173 points at the close of the market on March 20 for a loss of 10,378 points. Uncertainty over the Chinese coronavirus and its impact on the global economy is blamed for the catastrophic decline and destruction of trillions of dollars.

It remains to be seen which is more devastating, the uncertainty surrounding the virus, or the virus itself.

Disclaimer: This article is in no way comprehensive. There are many more good, bad, and ugly things going on in the world. The above items are the ones that stand out to this writer.

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