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What Will Be the Effects on the US Economy? Beyond the Death Toll, COVID-19 Is Hurting Countries

02-21-2020
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China coronavirus

There's new and potentially disturbing information about the transport of Americans with the coronavirus, called COVID-19.

The Washington Post is reporting 14 American passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the disease were allowed to fly home to the US with others who were healthy.

This reportedly happened Monday as hundreds of passengers from the cruise ship were set to come home to the US when 14 of them tested positive for the disease. A decision had to be made on whether to allow them to board the plane with the others. The CDC said no, but the State Department said yes.

Is China Telling the Truth?

Meanwhile, the number of newly reported coronavirus cases in China have allegedly declined sharply, causing some to question the accuracy of the reports.

The news that China reported just under 400 new cases in the last 24 hours would appear positive since the previous day's number was 1,700. However, twice now China has changed how they count daily new infections, so there's suspicion that latest figure could be even larger.

That's why the US is now closely watching Chinese media outlets operating on American soil to see if they are spreading misinformation from the communist regime.

Cruise Ship Coronavirus Aftermath

Meanwhile, two former passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died, bringing the number of virus-related deaths in Japan to 3.

It's a much different story in the US where those quarantined for the past 14 days are being released. "I'm looking forward to seeing my baby boy," said one woman.

"Fifty-seven people arrived here for monitoring, and 57 healthy people are going back to their communities knowing they pose no threat," said CDC team leader Eric Kasowski from one quarantine site in Nebraska.

How Will It Affect the Economy

With a total of reported cases in the US now just under 30, officials still believe the threat to the American population and economy are low, but still present.

Tens of millions of Chinese citizens have been quarantined, so production and consumption have both slowed down there. Apple reported it's expecting to take a hit as a result.

"The question for us really is what will be the effects on the US economy?" said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. "Will they be persistent? Will they be material?"

"We know that there will be some, very likely be some effect on the United States, I think it's just too early to say. We have to resist the urge to speculate on this," he said.

The biggest hit the American economy will likely take, as this epidemic stretches on, will be in the area of Chinese tourism to the US. Also, supplies ranging from car parts to iPhones coming to the US from China will likely be slowed as factories there are shut down because of the outbreak.
 

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