Each stage of the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the world has its own specifics, its omens, its key points and turning points. Today we are observing how, at two different ends of the planet, in states roughly comparable in size and population - Russia and the United States, at the level of leaders not only different, but, one might say, diametrically opposed decisions are made to combat the spread of coronavirus and its the consequences.
Why is the strategy toward which the White House is leaning so different from the Kremlin’s position? Let's try to figure it out.
No epidemic! Only business ...
President Vladimir Putin’s address to the citizens of our country on March 25 and the decisions made in it are already well covered, one can say, “disassembled by bones” in the domestic and world media, so we won’t retell them for the hundredth time in this article. We confine ourselves to stating the fact that, in essence, the steps announced by the head of our state are toughening the quarantine and anti-epidemiological policy at this stage. This, I emphasize - with less than 700 infected and 2 dead (mortality 0.3%) at the time of the speech of Vladimir Vladimirovich. At the same time, US President Donald Trump is “promoting the masses” of a completely different idea - he is only concerned about one thing today: how to revive business in the country by Easter (April 12), minimizing economic loss of the country. The head of the White House said that he dreams of seeing the Americans that day "fully open and rushing into battle." Not with coronavirus, if anyone doubts, but for new records in the matter of valiant capitalist labor and, accordingly, consumption. This happens against the following background: the number of people infected in the country has exceeded 62 thousand, the death rate from COVID-19 has exceeded 870 cases. The World Health Organization, terribly embarrassed, already says that the United States, apparently, will become the "new global hotbed of the pandemic," because the spread of the infection there is "greatly accelerated." On March 24, the United States accounted for 40% of all newly detected cases of the virus in the world. Nevertheless, Trump mercilessly fires doctors who, in his opinion, “would shut down the whole world - just give them free rein” and declares that the country he leads is “simply not created for isolation”.
At the same time, the president does not get tired of repeating that a stoppage of work will mean for Americans "consequences worse than the virus itself." That just might very well be. The words that a recession has begun in the US economy have, in fact, already been heard, moreover, from the lips of reputable bankers there, so trying to make a good face in a bad game is obviously useless. The most rabid pessimists are frightening Americans by a 50% drop in the economy in the second quarter of this year, which will equal the destructive effect of the country's entry into the world war. Yes, the Washington administration has already announced completely unprecedented measures to maintain the sinking ship of the "national economy" of the United States - "on the way" a bill to inject $ 2 trillion into the American economy. Of these funds, 250 billion is intended for payments to individuals and households, 350 billion for credit support for small businesses, 250 billion dollars will go to the unemployed and 500 billion dollars, again, to lend to enterprises affected by the epidemic. Impressive, isn't it? There is, however, one “but” - let's not forget that today the US federal debt has already exceeded 23 and a half trillion dollars. Where will two more come from? There are suspicions on this score, and the most are not bad, but we will talk about them in detail later - at the end of this article. In the meantime, we ascertain the fact that the situation in the United States economy is really “bad” and quarantine, carried out according to all the rules, will not really benefit it.
Perhaps everything is fine and quarantine is not needed?
No, not good ... And quite definitely. It is not for nothing that the most harsh criticism of Trump’s “Easter” plans was immediately made by a lot of people, first of all the very doctors whom he did not intend to “give free rein”. So, the director of the Johns Hopkins Health Safety Center, Tom Inglesby, stated the following: “Anyone who advises now to stop social distancing should have a clear understanding of what the country will look like if it comes to life. "COVID can spread widely, quickly, terribly and can potentially kill millions of people in a year, causing enormous social and economic damage to the whole country!" Moreover, Inglesby directly points out that when all restrictions are removed, the incidence of coronavirus will be "much more than our medical system can withstand." The American edition of Vox even considers Trump’s decision “reckless”, reproaching him for “putting his own political ambitions above human lives”. There are indeed grounds for concern. As already mentioned, the COVID-19 pandemic did not leave stone unturned from fairy tales about the "highest level of American medicine." She was not completely prepared for the invasion of the virus. A few specific examples and numbers: according to the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, who is suffering the hardest hit of the coronavirus today, there are no more than 53 thousand hospital beds in the city, if necessary 140 thousand (in the framework of not the worst-case scenario). The government has allocated “Big Apple” 400 devices for ventilation, but they need 30 thousand! And this is the second most important city in the country ... Already today, the local National Guard is re-equipping the local exhibition center Jacob Javitsa in the hospital. He will give 2 thousand beds. A drop in the sea...
Moreover, an extremely cruel joke with the Americans today is played by their own “pride” - the system of insurance medicine, as well as the national mentality. Let's start with the first one. At the moment, many experts in the United States have very nasty suspicions that many of their compatriots, even having suspected COVID-19, will not go to the doctors and think about it. The reason is simple: it has already been estimated that if a person has an “average” medical insurance of $ 500, the treatment of the “mild” form of coronavirus will rise to a US resident of 10 thousand dollars. Complicated will cost twice as much. Those who have no insurance at all (and there are plenty of such in the country, believe me) will be billed for 35 thousand or more. At the same Georgetown University, whose sociologists are now working hard on this problem, they are sure that many Americans will simply consider such expenses "because of some flu" to be inadmissible for themselves and will self-medicate (to which they are already big hunters), while not respecting self-isolation at all. The effect of clarification, I think, does not need. In addition, many US residents, especially those who are younger, still simply do not want to take what is happening seriously. The chief surgeon of the USA, Dr. Jerome Adams, very emotionally lamented on this point, who openly warned his fellow citizens a couple of days ago: “This week everything will become bad!” It became ... However, to the horror of Adams himself, "the disease spreads because many people across the country, especially young people, do not take the threat seriously and do not follow the authorities' instructions to stay home and practice social distance." According to many virologists, doctors, and other specialists, the epidemic in the country will peak at May 1. What is there "recovery" for Easter ?!
Retribution for self-confidence
It seems that the US authorities and, first of all, the president of the country, today perform some kind of monstrous rake dance, repeating the same mistakes that have already led to current, very sad consequences. Now, only the evil and lazy people in the United States do not remember the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon and others, their boastful unfounded statements and the crazy actions of the period when the pandemic began. Well, who pulled the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army, Mark Milli, on March 3, broadcasting with great aplomb that “the widespread impact of coronavirus on US troops is extremely minimal”? Today, the same Milli mumbles that in the States themselves the rampant illness will last at least until the summer, or even until its middle, and his boss, Mark Esper, admits that the pandemic is "unprecedented." So why did you swagger before ?! Perhaps, if it weren’t for such “capricious” sentiments, the same Trump would have thought a hundred times before waving a budget in which the financing of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) should be ... reduced by 9%! That is - by 693 million dollars. For reference, this happened three (!) Weeks after the first case of COVID-19 was registered in Chicago. The mind is incomprehensible. As well as the fact that the president did not take measures for at least a long time to provide American doctors with protective masks - with the need for 3.5 billion today there are 40 million of them! Yes, they sew themselves from bandages and gauze - you want - believe it, you want it - no. And other absurd actions and the words of the head of the White House, who at the beginning of the year assured the Americans that “the virus would not get out of China” and, moreover, did not dare to attack the United States, today can be recalled abundantly. Here, by the way, regarding the statements: the worse the situation in the United States becomes, the more enthusiastic their senior representatives begin to look ... No, not the way to overcome the crisis, but his "culprits" from "unfriendly countries."
So, the head of the State Department, Mike Pompeo, has already stated that "the Iranian authorities are guilty of the penetration of the coronavirus COVID-19 into the territory of five other countries." Going even further with such difficulty was John Bolton, who had been swept out of the post of Trump's national security adviser. Having gotten out of the closet with mothballs, this political scarecrow burst not only with accusations against Beijing, but also with demands to “punish him for the epidemic!” “The world must call China to account!” - That's right, no more and no less. This, to all appearances, is not intended to come to mind in Washington. With its current course, the power of the United States only once again strengthens their reputation as a state in which green papers are much more valuable than human lives. They intend to save there stock indices, capital and the image of the "first economy of the world", and not millions of those who pay for it with their own deaths. However, there is one more point. Apparently, the rest of the world intends once again to force Washington to pay for their own mistakes, their own stupidity and greed. Why am I? Moreover, the dollar, alas, is still the world's reserve currency. A statement made earlier this week by the US Federal Reserve regarding intentions to lift restrictions on the redemption of US government bonds from the financial market means, in fact, one thing first: "Uncle Sam" includes a printing press. Moreover, the most that neither is full speed. The stock markets and exchanges of the United States, and ultimately, everyone else, this, of course, will support. For a while ... However, a stream of cut green paper, completely unsecured, will flood into the world again.
It is far from a fact that the United States will be able to save its own economy by spitting on the possible consequences of the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in the country. In the end, it can only get worse. But the fact that they will try to shift the burden of its enormous losses onto the shoulders of other countries, and ours - including, is not in the least doubt. What to do about it? Well, this topic is already for a completely different conversation ...