The US could collapse into many states
USA faces coronavirus catastrophe - the end of US dominance?
It will perhaps be one of the great ironies of history: The coronavirus that emerged in China could, although it is hitting the Chinese economy hard, help the country to leave the United States behind for good. Because while China found a relatively efficient way of dealing with the coronavirus crisis after a relatively short time (for being the first country affected), an unprecedented coronavirus catastrophe is looming in the USA - both humanitarian and economic. The full extent to which the coroan virus will hit the United States is still unknown. A lot could still be absorbed with the right action. One thing is clear: nothing less than US dominance in the world economy is at stake - and thus much, much more.
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The coronavirus humanitarian disaster
The US state that has so far been most in the public eye with regard to the corona virus is New York - the intensive care beds there are already starting to run out. A look at one of the Corona live world maps circulating these days reveals more: With more than 16,000 confirmed cases and 114 deaths (as of March 23; source: CNN), the east coast state is most severely affected by the pandemic - at least if you do can believe the statistics. But there is serious doubt - less about New York's numbers and more about the values of other states.
A huge number of unreported cases is to be feared
The west coast state of Washington, for example, has already recorded 95 deaths with a total of “only” 2025 confirmed cases (just a little less than New York). For comparison: In Austria the ratio as of March 23, 3 p.m. is 3924 to 21. Austria has almost twice as many known cases as Washington, but only less than a quarter of the deaths. Is the disease so much more advanced among those infected in Washington than among those in this country and New York? Is the health system worse to that extent? Is the population structure so different that there are significantly more people in the risk group? Another suspicion is obvious: there is likely to be a gigantic number of unreported cases, which massively reduces the controllability of the coronavirus. Washington is the extreme example - but several states across the country also have a problematic statistical relationship between known cases and deaths (and so do some European states, by the way).
So it is to be feared: New York is not the state with the biggest problem, but one of the very few that have so far reacted reasonably adequately and are at least rudimentary testing. The large number of unreported cases, like many other problems in the US in the corona crisis, is also due to President Donald Trump's incompetence and overconfidence. The fact that he abolished a pandemic task force set up by Barack Obama months before the outbreak "could have happened" to others too. But it was grossly negligent that he continued to publicly downplay the topic when the extent of the coronavirus pandemic was already becoming apparent in other countries. For a long time there were no national measures. And for many days, practically no corona tests were available in the entire United States.
"The treatment cannot be worse than the disease"
And because nothing comes from the state side, or something in the meantime, but still far too little, the fate of the USA is now in the hands of 50 governors with 50 different approaches to crisis management. Around a third of the population is now subject to curfews. But only yesterday Trump said: "The treatment must not be worse than the illness" - in other words: for economic reasons he is considering a relaxation of the measures (after 14 days, which are a done deal).
Deeply rooted social madwoman
Meanwhile, the college students do not miss their spring break parties - memories of après ski in Ischgl are awakened. And many churches want to hold their mass worship services despite the coronavirus pandemic - by the way, in South Korea only one of them was responsible for a double-digit percentage of infections. Insanity anchored deep in society under the guise of alleged "freedom" is doing the rest to make the humanitarian coronavirus catastrophe almost inevitable.
How is the health system responding to the coronavirus disaster?
And when the disaster comes, the question remains how the world's most expensive healthcare system, which was at the center of political debates in the country before Corona, will deal with it. Millions of US citizens have no health insurance at all. Millions more are so poorly insured that they cannot afford the deductibles for coronavirus treatment. In Italy, a triage is currently made based on the chance of survival, i.e. it decides which patient has priority, such as the ventilator. Will that be decided financially in the US? And how will the significantly poorer medical infrastructure affect lower-income areas?
The economic coronavirus disaster
And then there is the economic side. Economically, of course, the US faces a similar challenge to many other countries - the humanitarian situation could make it even bigger. And Donald Trump actually announced an ambitious stimulus package. It should be between 1.4 and 1.8 trillion US dollars - different numbers have been rumored. In relation to the size of the population, the order of magnitude corresponds approximately to the announced 38 billion euros for the Austrian economy. However, the money is supposed to be distributed very differently. Some industries receive massive support, while there are few measures for workers - this has also led the Democrats to reject the first draft in the Senate.
Nobody saves small businesses from total loss of revenue
As part of the package, citizens up to a certain income limit are to receive a one-off check for US $ 1200 and a further US $ 500 per child - as a stimulus (for the US, unusually Keynesian). Of course, none of this solves a major problem in the corona crisis, namely that of the smaller companies, which are struggling with a total loss of sales due to the measures taken - citizens will probably not buy vouchers for services with their checks in a few months - they are more likely to spend the money on Walmart and Amazon. There is nothing comparable to the domestic short-time working regulation in the package.
Corporate mass death, mass unemployment, economic downward spiral
A mass death of companies in certain sectors and mass unemployment are therefore in the room. The fact that the tech giants, who also took measures on their own initiative early on, such as home office, will tend to increase their sales in the corona crisis, should not be able to make up for this. The US's barely existing social system has no means to adequately respond to the coronavirus disaster in any way. An economic downward spiral is mapped out.
“Marshall Plan” to Rescue US Dominance?
And in this situation, China, which has been overtaking the US for years in the global race, could finally leave the USA behind. Of course, the prerequisite is that it actually copes with the corona crisis much better than the United States - but there is currently a lot of evidence. Even if you feel like an independent observer at this possible end of US dominance in Europe - the political, social and economic effects on the old continent, which has also been badly shaken by the corona crisis, could be massive. Perhaps we will still consider drawing up a "Marshall Plan" for the USA to prevent this from happening. If the EU, which has felt completely out of the picture in the past few weeks, reappears - but that's a different story.
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