Market is Good
Washington won’t be there to support the economy this time, as infections inevitably rise as people head back indoors
The pandemic is about to enter its most treacherous phase.
BERKELEY, Calif. (Project Syndicate)—April marked the most dramatic and, some would say, dangerous phase of the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. Deaths were spiking, bodies were piling up in refrigerated trucks outside hospitals in New York City, and ventilators and personal protective equipment were in desperately short supply. The economy was falling off the proverbial cliff, with unemployment soaring to 14.7%.
New normal is 40,000 infections a day
While death rates among the infected are declining with improved treatment and a more favorable age profile, fatalities are still running at nearly a thousand per day. This matches levels at the beginning of April, reflecting the fact that the number of new infections is half again as high.
Mortality, in any case, is only one aspect of the viruses toll. Many surviving COVID-19 patients continue to suffer chronic cardiovascular problems and impaired mental function. If almost 40,000 cases a day is the new normal, then the implications for morbidity—and for human health and economic welfare—are truly dire.