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美国的经济损失可能比疫情爆发更具破坏性

2020-3-26 14:31

2020年3月4日,一名交易员在美国纽约证券交易所的地板上工作。【图片/机构】


在什么情况下,被迫关闭全球经济会变得比新型冠状病毒更有害?


这是一个必须尽快回答的问题。


由于大约一半的美国人被各个州要求尽可能呆在家里,唐纳德·特朗普总统本周反复呼吁全国在复活节(4月12日)之前回到工作岗位上。


这违背了许多医学专家的建议,但特朗普担心治疗(封锁)可能比问题更糟。


周二,他在推特上写道:“我们的人民希望重返工作岗位。他们将练习社交距离和所有其他,老年人将受到保护和关爱的照顾。我们可以一起做两件事。治疗方法不会比问题更糟糕(到目前为止)!国会现在必须采取行动。我们会强势回归的!”


在国会,特朗普指的是截至周二下午仍未通过的万亿美元经济刺激方案,这主要是因为某些政客按照可预见的党派路线,将一些无关的猪肉项目塞进了法案。


由于政府的封锁,数万亿美元的股票市场财富,数百万人失去了工作,数十亿人的生活被打乱。


美国股市周二的确上涨了一个百分点,创下1933年以来的最大单日涨幅,原因是美国国会有望出台数万亿美元的经济刺激方案,或许还有特朗普的乐观情绪。


据估计地球上有77亿人。世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)的数据显示,截至周二,全球有近16,362人死于19日的鼠疫,感染总人数超过375,498人。


在美国,已有471人死亡。


诚然,意大利(6,820人死亡)和伊朗(1,934人死亡)的情况和死亡率令人震惊和恐怖,也许这些国家的冠状病毒毒株比世界其他地方更致命。这一点尚未确定。


的确,在意大利,大多数受害者都是老年人,世界各地许多年轻、无忧无虑的人们可能会以此为鉴,继续过正常的生活。


但是老年人的生命和其他人的一样宝贵。也就是说,他们在生存方面处于劣势。


在纽约,州长安德鲁·科莫(Andrew Cuomo)和特朗普最近一直称赞他们在抗击埃博拉病毒方面的做法,但周二情况发生了变化,因为州长对特朗普呼吁全国在4月份恢复工作感到愤怒。科莫还直言不讳地请求增加通风机。


科莫问道:“你想为送了400个呼吸器而得到赞扬吗?”“你选择26000名即将死去的人,”他说,他指的是纽约需要大约30000台这样的机器。


美国副总统迈克·彭斯周二晚些时候表示,另有4000台通风机即将投入使用。


纽约很可能是震中,因为该州是美国最大城市的所在地,是一个本质上更容易受到病原体传播影响的国际中心。


这座城市现在就像一个空壳一样在运转。所有吸引人们来这里的东西,如百老汇演出、博物馆、音乐表演、体育赛事、餐馆等等,都处于休眠状态。


因此,与美国的郊区或农村地区相比,这里受到的影响要严重得多,经济上的破坏性也要大得多。许多靠工资生活的城市服务业或“零工经济”工人突然失业了。他们没有在家在线工作或“远程办公”的奢侈。


美国前民主党总统候选人安德鲁·杨周日在推特上说:“很快我们都需要理发了。”他指的是香港的理发店都关门了。


为什么新型冠状病毒导致了全球经济的衰退,而艾滋病、非典、埃博拉、H1N1和禽流感却没有?


就治疗方法而言,抗疟疾药物羟基氯喹显示出了一些希望。我刚刚读到一个新泽西的人,他的病情在得到广泛使用的药物后迅速好转。


有什么理由我们需要等待“进一步的测试”,然后才给这种几十年的老药,这是广泛可用的非专利形式?还是说,这是企业力量的问题,它们希望自己成为分发信息的人?


值得赞扬的是,纽约周二开始使用这种药物。


许多人不注意在公共场所集会的警告。在佛罗里达州,一个海滩最近挤满了人。


周日,州长科莫表示,尽管纽约市已经加强了对社会疏离的执法力度,但仍有许多人聚集在纽约市的公园里。


这并不是说所有必要的措施都不应该被采取,比如勤洗手,不触摸自己的脸,必要时戴口罩,呆在室内,保持社交距离。

 

但是,什么时候人们的集体意志将会取代死于最新的一长串病毒的相对较低的几率呢?人们的集体意志将会取代死于最新的一长串病毒的相对较低的几率呢?

 

 

A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, March 4, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

 

At what point will the enforced shutdown of the global economy become more harmful than the novel coronavirus?

 

That is a question that will have to be answered soon.

 

With about half the United States being asked by individual states to stay at home as much as possible, President Donald Trump this week repeatedly called for the country to go back to work by Easter (April 12).

 

That is against the advice of many medical experts, but Trump is concerned that the cure (lockdowns) could be worse than the problem.

 

On Tuesday, he tweeted: "Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!"

 

Of Congress, Trump was referring to a trillion-dollar stimulus package that hadn't passed as of Tuesday afternoon, mostly due to certain politicians cramming unrelated pork projects into the bill along predictably partisan lines.

 

Due to government lockdowns, trillions of dollars in stock market wealth, and millions of jobs have been lost, upending billions of lives.

 

The stock market did rally Tuesday to its best one-day point gain since 1933, buoyed by hopes of a trillion-dollar stimulus package by Congress and perhaps Trump's optimism.

 

There are an estimated 7.7 billion people on the planet. Of that number, nearly 16,362 people worldwide had died from the plague of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization as of Tuesday, with the total number infected above 375,498.

 

In the US, 471 people have died.

 

Admittedly, the situations and mortality rates in Italy (6,820 deaths) and Iran (1,934 fatalities) have been alarming and horrific, and perhaps the coronavirus strain that those countries have is more deadly than in other parts of the world. That has yet to be determined.

 

It also is true that in Italy most of the victims have been elderly, which many younger, carefree people around the world may take as cue to carry on living as usual.

But seniors' lives are just as valuable as anyone's. That said, they are at a physical disadvantage when it comes to surviving COVID-19.

 

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Trump had recently been complimentary about their dealings on fighting the virus, but that changed Tuesday when the governor bristled at Trump's call for the nation to get back to work in April. Cuomo also made a blunt plea for more ventilators.

 

"You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators?" asked Cuomo. "You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die," he said, referring to New York's need of roughly 30,000 of the machines.

 

US Vice-President Mike Pence said later Tuesday that 4,000 more ventilators were on the way.

 

New York is likely the epicenter because the state is home to the largest city in the US, an international hub that by its nature is more susceptible to the spread of pathogens.

 

The city right now is operating as a shell in itself. All of the attractions that people come here for, Broadway shows, museums, musical performances, sporting events, restaurants, et cetera, are dormant.

 

So the fallout is much more stark here than it is in suburban or rural areas of the country-and much more economically devastating. Many of the city's service or "gig economy" workers who live paycheck-to-paycheck were abruptly put out of work. They don't have the luxury of working online from home, or "telecommuting".

 

Former US Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted Sunday that "Pretty soon we're all going to need a haircut," in reference to the city's barber shops closing.

 

And why has the novel coronavirus resulted in the boarding-up of the global economy when AIDS, SARS, Ebola, H1N1, and bird flu did not?

 

As far as remedies, the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is showing some promise. I just read of a man in New Jersey whose condition rapidly improved once he was given the widely available drug.

 

Is there any reason that we need to wait for "further testing" before administering this decadesold drug that is widely available in generic form? Or is it a matter of corporate forces wanting to be the ones to distribute it?

 

To its credit, New York stared to use the drug on Tuesday.

 

Much has been made of people not heeding warnings about gathering in public. In Florida, a beach was packed recently.

 

On Sunday, Governor Cuomo said that many people still were congregating in New York City parks, although the city has since tightened enforcement of social distancing.

 

This is not to say that all necessary measures shouldn't be taken, such as frequent hand-washing, not touching one's face, wearing masks when necessary, staying indoors and social distancing.

 

But when will the collective will of the people to live whatever life they have left supersede the relatively low chance of dying from the latest in a long line of viruses?

 

原作者: William Hennelly 来自: china daily