Paul Krugman issues dire warning about next four months

Paul Krugman issues dire warning about next four months
Image via Screengrab.

In his column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman expressed dismay that — even with coronavirus infection rates going through the roof across the country —Donald Trump is still acting like the health crisis is over and Americans should return to their normal lives.

Noting that Vice President Mike Pence recently penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal proclaiming, “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’,” the columnist was gobsmacked by the Trump administration’s “delusions and magical thinking that have marked every step of the Trump administration’s response to Covid-19.”

Citing Pence’s column that attempted to make the case that COVID-19 pandemic is stabilizing, Krugman pointed out that states like Florida and Texas were seeing an explosion of cases — with Florida alone matching new infection cases as the E.U with a combined population of 446 million.

According to Krugman, the rise in infection rates was predictable as some states followed Donald Trump’s lead and didn’t insist on making masks mandatory while at the same time they were encouraging businesses to reopen.

“When Donald Trump declared that we would ‘transition to greatness’ — which is to say, rush to reopen the economy despite a still-rampant pandemic — epidemiologists warned that this could set off a new wave of infections. They were right,” he wrote. “And economists warned that while relaxing social distancing would lead to a brief period of job growth, these gains would be short-lived, that premature reopening would be self-defeating even in economic terms. They were also right.”

According to the economist, the rising tide of infections will lead to a return to shut-downs and that  what little economic gains have been made so far will disappear with Krugman warning, “As a result, unemployment, still in double digits, probably won’t get much better for a long time.”

After writing, “we’re in worse shape, even economically, than we would have been if Trump and his allies had taken the pandemic seriously early on, ” he continued, “The really frightening aspect about where we are is that Trump and his people don’t seem to have learned anything from their coronavirus debacle. On Wednesday — Wednesday! — Trump insisted, as he has at every stage of the pandemic, that the coronavirus will ‘sort of just disappear.'”

Adding the government should be making a full-scale effort to bring down COVID-19 infection rates, he wrote, “The sad, even terrifying thing is that Trumpian delusions of success will impose a heavy price on the rest of us.”

“Infections and hospitalizations will soar further, and millions of Americans will lose crucial economic lifelines in a few weeks,” he wrote before predicting, “The next four months are going to be very, very ugly.”

You can read more here.

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