Our nation is not doing well at limiting infections and deaths from COVID-19. Perhaps we can say, “Well, we did better than Belgium, Italy or Spain.” However, we not only are doing badly compared with other high-income nations, we’ve also fallen behind some countries with much lower incomes that took more coherent measures early on.
We are also failing in how we are sharing the economic costs of the pandemic across our society. Some groups are paying a high price in terms of unemployment, lost incomes, medical bills for treatment, evictions and small-business bankruptcies. At the same time, others, especially those with white-collar jobs who can work remotely, see little economic harm. And a small minority have seen sharp increases in their income or wealth.
Given the degree to which long-established infection-limitation measures have become politicized, it is not clear that there will be marked improvements on the public health side until the benefits of widespread vaccination become established. Given the disproportionate mortality levels among older people, particularly those in nursing homes, a well-administered program of vaccinating the most vulnerable may reduce deaths well before community spread in the overall population is ended. Hope for the best. Read more…..
Chart of the Day
Ruchir Sharma, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment, says evolving blockchain technology has led to the growth of bitcoin and as more people invest in the cryptocurrency, it can harm the U.S. dollar and weaken democracy.