With the U.S. economy hitting on all cylinders, along comes the Coronavirus out of China. Some report it came from some smarmy fish merchant in Wuhan; others think it escaped a bioweapons lab near there. Either way, the irrational fear of the new virus has sent stock markets down 20% from their highs and struck fear in the hearts of Americans.
This is the quickest spreading and most troubling viral situation coming from Asia since the Gangnam Style dance. And like that fad, this one will eventually fade.
One of the Americans who contracted Coronavirus was a Washington-based postal worker. If anything can slow this thing down, a postal worker is our best bet.
Keep in mind, if you contract the Coronavirus the risk of death is only about 2%. Crossing the Clintons politically has a higher chance of death.
The reason it spread is that China, a communist regime, would not own up to it and do what was needed to do to contain it. I thought that was the charm of command-and-control big government: the ability to control a country when something like this happens, as it does every five to 10 years. This is yet another failure of communism and a relative win for free market democracies.
Countries with supposedly strong central governments, like totalitarian Iran and North Korea, have been hit the worst.
The risks are hyped-up by the media hyenas who view it as one last chance to derail Trump’s reelection and to get eyeballs watching their dramatic interpretations amid failing ratings. Sadly, since the media has cried “wolf” so many times (Russian collusion, Ukrainian-based impeachment, etc.), no one will trust them when there is a real issue.
While we have the same CDC and health systems we had under Obama, the tone of the media and Democrats is that somehow Obama would have done better with this crisis, implying that his charisma alone would have kept the Coronavirus at bay.
Joe Biden and the Democrats would rather tank our economy than to manage this logically. Much of the stock market tradeoff is that Trump went from a 70% chance of reelection, which the markets liked, to about a 50% chance.
With his pals in media pushing for a Coronavirus-induced recession, and suddenly being a lock for the nomination, Biden has had a great March. It is just sad that he is not all there to appreciate it.
We will get through this, but we must keep it in perspective. Panic is not a strategy. Wash your hands, keep your grandparents away from others, and be sensible. Over 50,000 die each year of the regular ‘flu. We have 600 infected with the Coronavirus in the U.S.; 26 have died. Most are folks sent back here from cruise ships, along with those they infected. Trump’s idea to control the borders doesn’t seem so dumb now – eh, Left?
Letting my Wall Street background speak, this week’s drop in the stock market is more about Putin and Saudi Arabia fighting by cutting oil prices. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 20% Monday (WTI became WTF!), thus further exacerbating the overdue market correction. Gas prices should go to $1.75 levels, helping consumers. Oil could go down to $30 a barrel. Hell, that’s a good price for just the barrel.
We have a high-level virus spreading that mostly hurts older folks. There has been talk about shutting down Congress for a month until all this passes. In every tragedy there is a silver lining.
So stay positive and be sensible. We didn’t survive the Spanish ‘Flu (which killed 50 million in 1918), depressions, recessions and two World Wars to be killed by a virus named for a Mexican light beer.
A libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author, Ron’s a frequent commentator on TV and radio. He can be contacted at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.