218

Let's appreciate the learning curve. The problem with all of those historical names is that they created sharp spikes in prejudice, social ostracism, and violence against the indicated groups, and still create issues today as seen here with COVID-19. It's true that the first identified cases of Covid-19 occurred in Wuhan China, but this does not imply that ...


137

The short answer to this question is that 2019-nCoV is new. All the other diseases you mentioned are known quantities: epidemiologists have a good idea how they behave, how they spread, what is likely to happen in a variety of different scenarios, etc. But this disease represents a new mutation that behaves differently from other coronaviruses. It's far more ...


118

What the US would gain is unclear, besides saving some contribution money. What Trump gains is turning the narrative away from criticism of his leadership with regards to the Covid crisis and reframing it as something for which he doesn't have to take any responsibility because it was all China's and the WHO's fault. Basically, the Covid story is here to ...


103

First, the "Rally 'round the Flag" effect is misnamed. These aren't really moments of patriotism. These are moments in which people wake up and realize they are facing a collective threat, something beyond their capacities as individuals to influence or control, and they look to leaders for both practical and moral guidance about collective action. They want ...


101

I can't speak for Rebecca's judgement in interpreting those words of Trump, but for instance a NYT article says: “Our people want to return to work,” Mr. Trump declared Tuesday on Twitter, adding, “THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM!” In essence, he was raising an issue that economists have long grappled with: How can a society assess ...


96

Democrats have been trying to make the case that the stimulus package contains within it a corporate "slush fund" controlled by the Treasury Department and headed by Steve Mnuchin, and Democrats believe there is a high risk of mismanagement or outright corruption. From NYMag: The central flash point concerns a $500 billion corporate bailout. [...] Its ...


78

If you want official criticism from the WHO of what Trump did/said: [Question:] Dr Tedros mentioned the importance of international unity on this and I just wondered whether anyone there at WHO had comments about the US president Donald Trump's continued usage of the term, the Chinese virus, as recently as this morning to refer to COVID given that ...


78

The key assumption you have made is assuming people in the US act sensibly, and that they would base their answer in the poll on facts. This assumption might not be accurate. A recent (Jan 2019) study shows that facts might not be too important in this matter [1]. Inaccurate views of scientific consensus and the willful rejection of scientific consensus. ...


76

For two thoughtful critiques, see e.g. Stop the coronavirus corporate coup by Matt Stoller, or, from around when the bill had just emerged, this interview of AOC and Stephany Kelton. To raise but one quibble raised in the first piece: Take Boeing. The aerospace giant of course wants a $60 billion bailout. Financial problems for this corporation predated ...


67

Respectfully, I think complacency is misplaced. Malaria is locale-specific, and doesn't really affect rich first world countries. While it certainly could receive better funding, it is also easy to see why it doesn't affect the average European or American much. HIV/AIDS is partially tied to lifestyle and one is at low risk if not in a risk category. In ...


66

Specifically with reference to the UK, an article in the Guardian reports that Experts have warned about the risk that if tough measures are taken too soon, “fatigue” may set in, prompting the public to disregard the advice just as the virus reaches its peak. Effectively the argument is that, absent some sort of enforcement squad if people are told to ...


66

Part of it is going to be that the region (HK, Singapore, SK?, China) was hit much harder during the 2003 SARS epidemic so spent more time getting prepared. Also, it has long been the expectation that the next epidemic would come out of China, both due to population density and proximity to livestock/wild animals, so those countries could expect another "...


53

Disclaimer: I'm no expert, this answer is based on my modest understanding of the situation at play. The OPEC decision to cut oil production was meant to keep prices high: if every OPEC country were selling all the oil they could, it would drive prices down since there would be more supply than demand. So if every OPEC country agrees to sell only a limited ...


53

Arguably, the United States of America has. Sort of. It's confusing. The federal government, or rather the president and some of his cabinet, has largely left the response up to individual states. It's less of a conclusion, and more a result of chaos and denial at the Federal level. It is difficult to write this up in a neutral tone, to find sources with ...


51

Max Rissuto from DFRLab has analysed this in an article published on March 17th which tests the media bias claims made by Republican politicians including GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy, who tweeted that "Democrats are trying to score political points by calling Republicans racist" and that the "media called it 'Chinese coronavirus' for weeks". While ...


50

At least in Italy, this appears to be in part a response to pressure from newspapers and their readers. On March 11th, the director of la Repubblica newspaper Carlo Verdelli published (in Italian) an article asking for newsagents to be included in the list of essential services, saying that "The list is missing a service that is more fundamental now than ...


47

Future potential For a new disease, it doesn't matter how many infected or dead people there have been as of now, it matters how much infected or dead people can we expect in the future if we don't do anything. It's possible and plausible to stop a new disease before it reaches it's full potential. If we stop a new "malaria-2" before it has the chance to ...


45

Trump is weighing the economy vs lives saved. That is his job No leader wants to be in the position Trump is in. For instance, it has been stated that Winston Churchill knew in advance of a bombing raid on Coventry but chose to take no action. Ignoring the controversy over the assertion, this comment at the end is apropos "But even if Churchill had known ...


44

I think these countries are in fact approaching this as a problem that has an obvious solution, as you suggest. The issue lies, however, with convincing their populace to work these seasonal jobs, and the inherent nature of seasonal agricultural work. Firstly, the levels of unemployment are not necessarily going to be as bad as you might think, at least in ...


42

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise has given a press release which outlines the objections of Republicans to the bill, calling it a wishlist of "insane far-left policies". The objections in particular seem to relate to the amount of non-coronavirus related provisions within the bill. Republicans argue that these measures are unnecessary, and an abuse of the ...


42

The reason for Sweden's rather hands-off approach compared to other European countries was summed up rather well by lead epidemiologist of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Anders Tegnell, who said in an interview with CNBC: My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much ...


42

According to a study published by the Pew Research Center last week, the majority of voters are pessimistic about the future with regards to Covid-19: "73% of U.S. adults say that in thinking about the problems the country is facing from the coronavirus outbreak, the worst is still to come." This is in contrast to Trump's optimism about the future - ...


42

Leaving the WHO would release the US from the legal obligations of its membership; chiefly those set out by the International Health Regulations of 2005. These are fairly wide ranging and pithy, far too in-depth to describe thoroughly in an answer here, but a good summary may be found in the WHO's publication International Health Regulations (2005): A brief ...


41

Another possibility, ignoring fears of infection, is that the country doesn't want their citizens to become stranded in another country if flights are suspended at a later date. For example, on Monday, March 30th, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced a £75m plan to charter flights to repatriate stranded Britons, and also advised any citizens still ...


38

The New York Times published a critique today, "The Coronavirus Bailout Stalled. And It’s Mitch McConnell’s Fault." Its critique is mainly that all the money goes to businesses, with no provisions for the workers who are currently unable to afford groceries and utilities. But Republicans are proposing different rules for big businesses. Recipients of ...


38

The implications seem to be indefinite near-dictatorship for so long as Viktor Orbán chooses. For those who are interested, an (unofficial, I believe) English translation of the bill can be found here. Under the new legislation, by-elections are suspended and Orbán can rule by decree, suspend enforcement of laws, and arrest people for years under vague ...


36

Shutting down schools, banning large gatherings and pushing people to do home office has a massive economic cost. Of course you never get the exact numbers on either death or cost but essentially you have to answer questions like: How many death does one need to prevent to make a 10% reduction of annual GDP worth it? This is a complicated ethical question ...


34

The official rationale, according to Trump's presidential proclamation, is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could become overwhelmed "if sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus occurred in the United States on a large scale". It continues: The World Health Organization has determined that multiple countries within the ...


33

While discussions on lifting restrictions have already been started (here in Germany they were initiated by opposition parties), there is no sane politician that would announce a concrete plan. Even the opposition politicians initiating the debate do not want to name any dates, and would rather use a vague "as early as possible". Nobody knows when the peak ...


33

Signing statements do not have the force of law. Most often signing statements are used to signify how the President will interpret and enforce the law For example, in President Obama's signing statement for the [National Defense Authorization Act], he explained a few reasons why he chose to sign the bill (it authorizes funding for important national ...


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