The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States continues to shake financial markets. Treasury note yields are in the toilet. And the stock market had the worst one-day drop in its history when the Saudis cut crude oil prices.
The economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic is hard to ignore, but the drop in crude oil prices took some attention away from the pandemic. Mr. Trump claims the crude oil price drop will save consumers money at the gas pumps. But most Americans don’t plan to travel now that the Tony Fauci, the head of the CDC, told the press COVID-19 could make life miserable for months. Award-winning economist, and Trump basher, Paul Krugman, claims the U.S. will plunge into recession waters in 2020, and it will take time to pull out of the negative economic mud.
The fact that the Trump team botched the rollout of COVID-19 test kits exacerbates the economic decline. According to Mike Pence, more than two million test kits will be in the hands of doctors and health organizations by mid-March. But that amount of test kits is not enough to identify how quickly COVID-19 moves around the country.
But a lack of test kits does keep the actual number of COVID-19 out of the reach of the media, and that’s good news for President Trump. The president continues to downplay the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in order to protect his reelection campaign, according to the New York Times. The president said he plans to holds rallies during the virus outbreak, even though Fauci said that’s a really bad idea.
Mr. Trump plans to meet with U.S. bankers to discuss a payroll tax cut and to implement other economy-related moves that will help keep the U.S. away from a looming recession. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer told the press lawmakers want to help hourly workers get paid while they stay home. And they want to increase the amount of unemployment insurance.
China still has a long way to go before its economy recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak. Huawei, China’s top tech company, let the press know smartphone revenue will decline by 20% in 2020 thanks to Trump’s blacklisting.
Huawei can’t use Google services in its new smartphones, and that’s a turnoff for smartphone users who want the latest technology. Huawei was number two in the smartphone industry in 2019. But now that the company has to use its Harmony operating system in new phones, the company may only sell 190 million smartphones this year.