Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was on ‘Fox News Sunday” where he said that “we are looking at a 10 to 12 week scenario” regarding the economic turmoil resulting from the Chinavirus (COVID-19). Mnuchin is negotiating with Senate leadership on a deal that will put over $1 trillion into the economy to ease the economic damage and suffering. The current plan is for Congress to vote on and pass the emergency relief “phase 3” package on Monday.
The U.S. is half way through the recommended 15 day pause President Trump announced with new national guidelines encouraging the practice of social distancing. At this point the Administration is signaling that two weeks has been expanded to 3 months of self imposed isolation and economic lethargy. It’s important to realize that even in wartime the country has never experienced anything like this crisis and America is now in uncharted territory.
The World Health Organization downplayed the highly contagious nature of the Chinavirus for months and mislead governments and citizens around the world regarding travel restrictions. Now WHO’s Mike Ryan says, “The danger right now with the lockdowns … if we don’t put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up.”
Mike Ryan is the Chief Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program which is tasked with the international containment and treatment the Chinavirus. It appears that Ryan’s timeline is even longer than Steve Mnuchin’s noting that “people needed to be realistic” and understand that a vaccine for Chinavirus is over a year away. “Once we’ve suppressed the transmission, we have to go after the virus. We have to take the fight to the virus,” Ryan said implying that social distancing and self quarantine is just the first battle in a long war.