- The actual fatality rate for the normal flu is about 0.1 percent, and while the overall death rate for COVID-19 indeed seems to be about 2.3 percent.
- As the highly infectious coronavirus jumped from China to country after country in January and February, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost valuable weeks that could have been used to track its possible spread in the United States because it insisted upon devising its own test.
- Almost as soon as he took office, Trump began cutting funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading in turn to an 80 percent cut in the resources the agency devotes to global disease outbreaks.
Janet Hamilton, senior director of Policy and Science at Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, said that with the virus spreading through multiple countries, “now is the time” for widespread surveillance testing.
“The disease,” she said, “is moving faster than the data.”
Trump blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for issuing warnings that may have unnerved traders in the stock market. At his news conference Wednesday, he also scolded Democrats for allegedly “trying to create a panic.” Trump seems not to realize that saying everything is fine when no one trusts you to assess the situation honestly can cause people to freak out, too.
According to the Financial Times, “seasonal flu has a mortality rate below 0.1 percent but it infects so many people that it results in about 400,000 deaths a year worldwide”.
Investment-advisors are increasingly worried that U.S. authorities are not doing enough to prevent a widespread outbreak of coronavirus in the country, potentially adding further downside to already-battered markets.
How does Trump respond? Trump is now fully embracing the conspiracy theory that his assorted enemies are deliberately hyping the coronavirus threat, all to damage him politically. At his Wednesday news conference, Trump agreed with Rush Limbaugh’s suggestion that Trump’s foes are “weaponizing” the outbreak against him.
Almost as soon as he took office, Trump began cutting funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading in turn to an 80 percent cut in the resources the agency devotes to global disease outbreaks. To date, his response is not interested in science. They are interested in appearing to be doing “things” that might make it appear they are protecting the American public – when their goal is to protect the market.
In addition, Trump’s budget blueprint for 2021 proposes a series of cuts to the nation’s health agencies, including a nearly 16 percent cut to the CDC and a 10 percent cut to the Department of Health and Human Services, which houses the CDC and the National Institutes of Health.
On top of all this Pence’s task force has insisted that all information on the Coronavirus should be cleared by his office and the only people on his task force are financial people. There is not one doctor or person with a science background on the task force. Not one!
A leader installs confidence even when he is unsure of his, her, decisions. Trump is no leader. The stock market collapse is proof that financial markets have zero confidence in someone who is so unfit to lead a nation who is scared.
Incompetence is costing us all.