The Federal Reserve is the agency responsible for fulfilling the responsibilities of the U.S. Central Bank. On the 5th, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell once again expressed his views on Coronavirus Pandemic.
He said that the recent rise in U.S. cases is worrying, “Everyone should follow the advice of public health experts, maintain proper social distancing, and wear masks in public .” Powell said this will help return the economy to strong growth .
On the same day, the United States reported more than 120,000 new cases of Coronavirus in a single day, setting a record high again. Why is the Fed chairman so worried about the pandemic and urged everyone to wear masks?
How does not wearing a mask affect the US economy?
On the 5th, the Federal Reserve issued a statement after the conclusion of the two-day monetary policy meeting and announced that it would continue to maintain zero interest rates. The statement said that the ongoing public health crisis will continue to put pressure on economic activity, employment and inflation in the short term, and pose considerable risks to the economic outlook in the medium term.
Fed Chairman Powell said at a press conference that day that the continued increase in U.S. cases is worrying, and reiterated that the recovery of the U.S. economy depends largely on the control of the pandemic, and that all Americans must respond to the pandemic. Play a role in action.
In fact, this is not the first time Powell has called on everyone to wear masks. When the United States was facing the third wave of the pandemic in September, Powell said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) that the United States can curb the virus by wearing masks and maintaining social distance, thereby achieving tremendous economic growth. This is considered to be his strongest support for the two pandemic prevention measures recommended by experts.
Powell, his Fed colleagues and dozens of other economists have insisted throughout the pandemic that the only way to fully recover from the recession caused by this pandemic is to control the virus, otherwise Americans cannot gather safely. Together, this will cause millions of people to lose their jobs and force thousands of small businesses to go bankrupt.
Larry Fink, CEO of the Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest asset management companies, also pointed out the urgency of wearing masks in an exclusive interview with CNBC. Fink said: “If we all wear masks and we all care more about our compatriots, we will resolve this crisis faster.”
In order to cushion the impact of the pandemic and support the US economy, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to 0-0.25% in March this year and continued to this day. Following the 2008 international financial crisis, it has returned to the “zero interest rate era.”
In theory, cutting interest rates can have the effect of reducing credit costs, increasing consumption and creating jobs. However, there is a certain cycle for the effect of interest rate cuts, and the effect on the real economy will not be immediate. Before the government’s new round of financial rescue plan is introduced, the prospects for the US economic recovery are still bleak.
Data show that the number of new jobs in the private sector in October was much lower than expected. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits for the first time last week still exceeded 750,000. The Federal Reserve predicts that the unemployment rate in the United States will be higher than the level when Trump was first elected president by the end of 2021. In addition to unemployment, the United States will also face a series of long-term problems, including rising inequality, increasing federal debt and instability in international trade.
At the same time, the pandemic in the United States is terrible. On the 5th, the United States reported more than 120,000 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus in a single day, exceeding 100,000 for the second consecutive day. This became the day with the largest number of new confirmed cases in a single day in the United States since the outbreak.
As the United States has fallen into the worst wave of the spread of the new coronavirus so far, actions have been taken across the United States. At present, at least 33 states in the United States have issued mask orders, requiring people to wear masks in public places or under certain circumstances.
Chen Fengying, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics at the China Institute of Modern International Relations, believes that controlling the pandemic is the key to US economic recovery.
Chen Fengying : “The economic recovery must contain Coronavirus Pandemic, and the most scientific way to control Coronavirus Pandemic is to wear a mask. Both China and other countries have (such experience). Wearing a mask has significantly reduced the corresponding infection. I think Powell’s opinion is to start with science, to defend scientifically, and to conduct exchanges in social places scientifically. At present, when there is no vaccine or special medicine, the only way is to wear a mask.”
One of the culprits of the worsening pandemic in the United States: the politicization of masks
Coronavirus Pandemic in the United States continues to worsen, and wearing a mask today, which is recognized as the simplest and most direct pandemic prevention measure, has been controversial in the United States, which has continuously triggered various conflicts.
A few days ago, Francis Collins, president of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), urged Americans to “do the right thing” in winter, including wearing masks in public places. He specifically mentioned a new study published in the British journal Nature Medicine: If most Americans wear masks, as many as 130,000 lives could be saved by March next year. Otherwise, by the end of February next year, the death toll may exceed one million.
In fact, wearing a mask has always been one of the basic pandemic prevention measures that the American scientific community and public health experts have unanimously strongly urged the public to take after the outbreak, but it has always been difficult to effectively promote it. This is because since the outbreak, the issue of whether to wear a mask has been severely politicized by American politicians.
Previously, Trump of the United States had refused to wear masks on various occasions; even after he was diagnosed with Coronavirus Pandemic, his die-hard supporter and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Aza still served Trump and his family in the presidential election debate. Defend the behavior of not wearing a mask.
The Washington Post stated that wearing masks is the simplest and most effective public health method to combat COVID-19. However, due to “the federal government’s poor communication and the politicization of wearing masks, the widespread use of masks has slowed.
The New York Times reported on the 3rd that regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, the current President Trump will probably continue to lead the United States through the darkest and deadliest period of the pandemic this winter, and he has now basically put America’s important Health experts are excluded from the core leadership circle.
Guo Xiangang , a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, pointed out that no matter who is elected as the new president of the United States in the future, the fight against the pandemic should be taken as the top priority and should be dealt with seriously, starting with mandatory wearing of masks.
Guo Xiangang : “The reason why the United States does not pay attention to wearing masks and does not care about social distancing is closely related to the US government’s political interference and interference in science in handling the pandemic. Because this year is the US election. At the beginning of the pandemic, the US government did not pay attention to and downplay the pandemic.
The purpose of downplaying the pandemic was to choose the situation, and sometimes it even concealed the facts. This made the American people insufficiently aware of the pandemic.
Therefore, now Many people of insight in the United States have made such a call. No matter who comes to power, facing the increasingly serious pandemic in the United States, I am afraid that they have to put aside political interference, respect the opinions of scientists, and bring masks to maintain proper social distance. Probably the only way for the United States to get out of the pandemic dilemma.”