Analyst says the US is not Remotely Prepared to Re-open Its Economy

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An expert on Tuesday says the US is not even “remotely prepared” to re-open. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the US and most of the world has been in lockdown and economic shutdown, And the President of the US is adamant for the US reopening by early Mat

“We’re not remotely prepared neither in terms of the epidemiology of the outbreak in the United States nor in terms of our preparedness capacities to begin suppressing this virus in ways other than through social distancing,” Saying Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy expert at the Center for Global Development and his expertise include global outbreak preparedness

According to John Hopkins University, the US has reported over 988,000 confirmed cases and 56,000 deaths so far. The US is currently the worst country affected by the global pandemic

The measures put in place to mitigate the pandemic outbreak which included strict social distancing policies and the closing of nonessential businesses and ordering residents to stay home. All these measures have caused a devastating economic slump.

Some states like Alaska, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas are slowly beginning to allow restaurants and other establishments to serve customers.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday the state plans to reopen its economy in phases.

The current lack of testing capabilities is one of the main factors keeping many families and employers from resuming business, although stay at home orders have officially been lifted in several states.

Konyndyk told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” that the country at large is not seeing a decline in coronavirus infections and that there needs to be more testing.

According to the Covid tracking project, being able to test 2% of the population in each state would be a major increase. Currently, about 1.6% of the entire US population has been tested so far. But experts say the country has to test abut 20 million to 30 million people each day to begin getting the economy back to normal because of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission.

“Right now, we’ve got much of the country quarantined, so if someone gets sick, the chances they can spread to others are smaller,” “If you begin reopening before you have the ability know who’s sick, or frankly, before those people have the ability to know they have it, you run into enormous risks,” said Konyndyk.

Konyndyk raised concerns for reopening too soon and causing second wave infections, citing examples from places like Japan’s Hokkaido where strict curbs were lifted too soon

“We will face second waves and third waves of this even under the best of circumstances. But if we reopen too early, we’re going to be much worse because the virus now is seeded so much more widely throughout the country, there are a lot more people who can potentially spread it.”

“It’s not like you can pick one or the other. You have to get the health back on track in order to get the economy back on track,” said Konyndyk.

 

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