COVID-19 is threatening to bring the entire government to a grinding halt as more people self-quarantine.
While the stock market and the country as a whole is panicking over the incompetent finger-pointing from the White House, Congress is struggling to pass a bill to aid individuals and businesses in coping with the pandemic, a growing number of Congress and Senate members have self-isolated themselves and are closing their offices because they can’t get tested and are concerned that they have been exposed to people who are known to carry the infection.
As an ever-increasing number of Congressional members stay home it will soon become impossible to pass any new bills because there won’t be the necessary quorum required to make new laws.
Currently, the Republicans in Congress are blocking the aid bill which would expand unemployment and other assistance, because they are demanding that no money be provided to any medical business which performs any abortions – putting personal religious beliefs ahead of the health and safety of the country.
If they delay action on the aid bill for a few more days there may be no functioning congress to act.
VP Pence Bottleneck on Science as Trust Fails
The administration has mandated that all government doctors and scientists have any statements or reports approved by Vice President Pence, a born-again Christian who doesn’t believe in science, climate change, and says that smoking has no connection with lung cancer. Is this the person who should be determining which scientists should be listened to?
The stock market futures crashed by 10% Wednesday evening just as President Trump gave a self-serving speech to the country about the coronavirus pandemic. A number of business people are pointing to the many obvious mistakes and direct lies in his talk as a major reason why there is no confidence in the government’s response among big investors.
As his talk ended the White House went into top gear denying and correcting some of the scary and misleading things he said.
While on Thursday the White House swung back to blaming Europe, China, and especially the Democrats for the pandemic and for ruining his stock market record, mayors and governors are taking steps to actually protect citizens.
State and Business Action as the Fed Fails
One entire U.S. state, Ohio, has closed all K-12 schools, while New York State is opening a drive-through testing station.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park are both closed, while the start of the baseball season is delayed by at least two weeks and both professional and college basketball games have been canceled after a number of professional basketball players who had been in close contact with hundreds of other players during games, have tested positive for COVID-19. Several teams have self-quarantined themselves.
The NHL has also canceled games.
NASCAR has said it will continue its race schedule but without any audiences.
The governor of New York state has banned all gatherings of 500 or more which means Broadway plays will be unable to open since they can’t make money if only one half or one-third of their seats can be sold.
The Governor of California has mandated that older adults avoid groups of more than 10 while everyone else should stay out of groups of more than 250. The governor also warned that even if you are not in a high-risk group you should remember that if you catch the virus you can pass it along and be responsible for killing some elderly person you know.
This is a step forward but is actually meaningless because if no one in the crowd has the virus it doesn’t matter how many are there but if there are just two people and one of them is infected then the crowd is dangerously large at two.
Testing Our Patience
Many financial experts are pointing to all the finger-pointing and false or misleading statements by the President as the main reason for the loss of confidence driving the stock market lower.
While President Trump keeps insisting that U.S. testing is fine and you just have to go to the right place and you will be tested, Dr. Fauci, the head of infectious diseases for the government, told Congress that the U,.S. had completely failed when it came to testing. In his talk to the nation on Wednesday night, President Trump repeatedly emphasized what a good job his administration has done.
After two months the total number of Americans tested has reached nearly 20,000 TOTAL. South Korea, for example, tests that many every two days.
Without extensive testing, there is no way to know how widespread the virus is or how to slow its spread.
When President Trump took office the DOW average was 19,827 and
Thursday it sank to 21,200, down 2000+ today. This is incredibly politically damaging to President Trump who has hardly missed a day since his election during the bull market to brag about how he has done so well and pointing to the DOW average as proof he was doing so well.
Although he always took all the credit for the rise in the market, in the two weeks it has been dropping from a bull market to a bear market he hasn’t missed any opportunity to blame NBC, CNN, and the Democratic party for the collapse in the market.
Washington Post infection map https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/01/22/mapping-spread-new-coronavirus/