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A M Reid
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Globally there are around 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 8,000 deaths so far. In the United States alone, the number of deaths has exceeded 100.
Coronavirus is now present in all U.S. states, and the United States is adjusting to combat the spread, transitioning to stricter lockdown measures. Across states, many stores, restaurants, and public schools have shut, and most large events have been canceled. New York has banned all mass gatherings, and New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has shut down all clubs, cinemas, theaters, and event venues in the city. He also told restaurants and bars to close to dine-in customers and to only sell food via delivery.
“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” definitely de Blasio said. “This is not a decision I make lightly. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city.”
Those who display symptoms or have been in contact with someone infected must self-isolate, as well as those who are more vulnerable to the virus, such as the elderly and individuals who have underlying health issues. All citizens are expected to practice social distancing.
Notably, President Donald Trump recently extended the Europe travel ban to the United Kingdom and Ireland, after a surge of cases in the United Kingdom. Currently, in the United Kingdom there are nearly 3,000 confirmed cases, but the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, estimated that in reality there could be over 50,000 cases undetected.
Due to the pandemic, which has led to fears that a global recession could occur, the U.S. economy has been hit by blow after blow.
Oil prices are crashing drastically, hitting the lowest level in nearly 20 years; West Texas Intermediate fell 24.4 percent now at around $20.37 a barrel.
Today stocks, which have remained volatile, fell again, the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing around 1,600 points. This drop follows on from Monday, where the Dow tumbled by approximately 3,000 points and the S&P 500 fell 12 percent. The day has since been cited as one of the worst days in history for U.S. markets.
Nariman Behravesh, the chief economist at IHS Markit, said that a recession was inevitable.
“It’s too late to do anything to stop the recession. All you can do is limit the pain, limit the damage,” Behravesh said.
Today entrepreneur, investor, and Shark Tank billionaire Mark Cuban appeared on MSNBC Live and explained to anchor Stephanie Ruhle what he believes the government needs to be doing in order to support workers and keep businesses afloat during the pandemic.
“The government right now has to open the checkbook and print as much money as it takes. There’s no limit to how much money we will print and we’ll deal with the consequences afterwards because we need the liquidity in the system, we need people [keeping] their jobs,” Cuban remarked.
Cuban then went on to emphasize that those who are staying at home must receive their hourly wages as if they have worked “a full 40 hours,” so they can have a source of income.
“They need to be paid in a pass-through manner because we need to anticipate that the economy will come back at some point, and we want to subsidize and do whatever it takes to keep those business relationships between employer and employer, because if everybody just loses their job, everybody goes on public assistance, and then everybody tries to find a job at the same time, that could extend what would be a recession into a depression, and we need to avoid that at all costs,” he added.
Cuban also told Ruhle that the “smartest thing to do in this quarantine world,” would be “writing checks to every single industry and having those pass through to their employee, whether they’re at home or at work, whatever it is.”
Otherwise, he continued, “people will just lay everybody off, and they’ll feel okay about laying those people off because they know the government will be there to provide a check for them probably every month going forward. We need to try to retain them at their jobs and keep those relationships alive for as long as possible.”
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