• Thomas Parker

Coronavirus: the worst may be over, but questions remain

The worst of the health effects from the novel coronavirus may be over in the United States.

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that peak resource use of hospital beds and ventilators occurred over the weekend, and that peak deaths per day occurred on Monday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that the number of deaths per day was "basically flat" and public officials are now putting together a strategy to reopen the economy.

President Trump on Monday declared that he alone would make the decision about when and how to reopen the economy, but Vice President Mike Pence said that the federal government would work with the states.

The U.S. now has more than 572,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 23,100 deaths.

Despite the passing of the worst of the health effects, the economic fallout from strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus may linger for some time. Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and millions more are expected to lose their jobs in the near future.

The International Monetary Fund is predicting that the global economy will suffer the worst downturn since the Great Depression as government-mandated lockdowns prevent people from working and fear over the virus' spead reduces demand for goods and services.

In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF projected that the global economy will contract by 3% in 2020. Prior to the pandemic, they projected the global economy would experience 3.3% growth.

The IMF also said that it expects the U.S. economy to contract by about 6% in 2020 and cast doubt about the prospect of a quick recovery following a reopening of the economy.

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