COVID-19 continues its devastating effect on the world economy and population. ‘Wall Street has ended an 11-year bull run’ as stocks plummet in a panicked response to the health emergency and extreme responses by the US president. The novel coronavirus has officially been designated by the WHO as a pandemic, possibly contributing to the extreme bear run. Cryptocurrency has been similarly affected. Meanwhile, Trump’s response to the pandemic has been criticised for being both unclear and in denial. The British government have similarly been criticised for their response.
Wall Street was hit by a shocking downturn as the WHO officially designated the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Faith that the world economy will escape the pandemic unscathed is completely evaporated. Predictions of more sell-offs could mean the worst is not over yet. If the stock markets should continue to suffer so drastically, a recession could be on the cards. In the light of the global supply chain’s over-reliance on Chinese manufacturing, this could mean a dramatic shift in the economic and political landscape in years to come.
Trump made a declaration of a travel ban to the US from 28 European countries – conspicuously excluding UK and Ireland from the ban. This exclusion and the ban in general led to criticism from the EU and the British Chancellor. Rishi Sunak told Radio 4’s Today “The advice we are getting is that there isn’t evidence that interventions like closing borders or travel bans are going to have a material effect on the spread of the infection.” In other areas, Trump has been criticised for publicly downplaying the virus even while infection rates soar. A poor response to containing and testing has been met with frustration even by his own political allies. Instead he seems more concerned with the negative coverage he will be exposed to.
Similarly, Britain’s own government has come under fire for its lethargic response to the coronavirusoutbreak. Fewer tests have been made in recent days and infection count has reached 590, this comes despite previous promises to increase testing to 10,000 a day. Britain looks set to move from the ‘Contain’ to the ‘Delay’ phase of fighting the pandemic, following the four phase plan set out by the government. The idea is to ‘flatten the curve’ and delay the peak of the outbreak to a time when the NHS is better prepared for it – in the summer months. This approach has been criticised as ‘too little, too late’ as the British government was lambasted by John Ashton, former director of public health for North West England.
We continue to follow the coronavirus outbreak and its effects on the economy and supply chain. Check back regularly for more updates.