Alwaght- At the time being, nothing in the politics, economy, and society remained untouched by the coronavirus outbreak crisis. The main area where the crisis leaves impacts and shows itself in politics and governance more than any other area is the economy, however. The coronavirus, leaving profound impacts on the global economy, seems to prospectively influence all of the home policy developments of the world countries.
Certainly, the biggest economic and political damage from the infectious disease crisis was sustained by China, the first country where the fatal virus took its toll. But as the COVID-19 moved to spread wider, it is now smashing the European and American borders to conquer the world’s economic powerhouses.
In the US, the virus seems to have a decisive role in Trump’s political future. To know how the pandemic will influence the American president’s future, we need first to see how it caused the global economy and stock markets to plunge. Then we can see how the future of the crisis and Trump are interwoven.
World economic crash unprecedented in 120 years
After several weeks of tense times for the world stock markets, in the US, Europe, and Asia the stock markets on March 12 saw their most horrible crash in 120 years. When Trump announced the plans to put a 30-day ban on travel from Europe, the indices all of sudden collapsed, unprecedentedly.
Only in a single day, the Wall Street indices, Nasdaq, Dow Jones, and S&P 500 dropped over 9 percent, marking the March 12 as the worst day of the stock markets in the 21st century. The American indices over the past fortnight lost nearly 20 percent of their values. A report by Statista, a German online portal for statistics, suggests that the recent Wall Street fall is the fourth biggest one in 120 years.
This crash in the near future will have resounding effects on the American economy as the world’s largest. Although so far only 20 percent of the market value was lost, it appears that in case the coronavirus crisis continues, the losses will be even bigger. In addition to the economic decline of the big economies, the situation will cause a new crisis for the capitalist economic system, a crisis that perhaps in the future will be remembered by March 12 as the black day of capitalism.
Trump and the future of coronavirus
Although the US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin on March 15 said that he was sure that despite the slowdown, the coronavirus will not bring a recession to the American economy.
“Later in the year, obviously the economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus,” Mnuchin said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
He further said in another program on Fox News that “I expect we’ll have a big rebound later in the year.”
But it seems that Trump and his economic advisors have figured out that very likely there would be a direct relationship between the coronavirus future and Trump's future. In his election campaign addresses, Trump highlights economic achievements and growth as the main win cards for his election success. It seems that as a result of the coronavirus crisis continuation, the American economy will decline as did the Chinese economy and this can put an end to Trump’s presidency at the White House.
Although American society does not recognize Trump as the certain cause of the COVID-19 crisis, his political future will be affected in three levels.
First level: Over the past month, Trump in several meetings has been dismissive of the virus crisis. He once said that the coronavirus is not that serious that people exaggerate its threats. This downplay by the American leader caused a kind of underestimation of the crisis by the country’s political system. Now, many American media and even citizens find the COVID-19 spread nationwide as a result of Trump's “foolishness” and short-sightedness.
The Tuesday night one-on-one debate of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders as the two leading hopefuls of the Democratic Party was a scene of lashing out by the candidates on Trump’s way of handling the coronavirus crisis. Senator Sanders said the politicians should not lie to people. He further said that the government should not be dishonest about the nature of the crisis.
“The first thing we have got to do, whether or not I’m president, is to shut this president up right now, because he is undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people,” Sanders said of President Trump. “It is unacceptable for him to be blabbering with un-factual information which is confusing the general public.”
He further said that the military could have a role in coronavirus response. He also demanded free coronavirus tests nationwide and help to the suffering businesses.
Second level: Trump administration’s performance in controlling of the virus spread is highly important. The American public believe that the government so far has not taken the necessary measures, including border closure, to control the diseases. Although after the widespread Trump announced a national state of emergency, it remains to see how much he and his administration will be successful in containing the crisis.
US media report that the disease could take lives of nearly 200,000 to 1.7 million Americans. If this takes place, Trump will see a sharp drop in his chance to win the November 3 presidential election.
Third level: The effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the national economy should not be disregarded. As it forced down the stock markets, it can do even more as it inflicts damage to various business sectors. This has been Trump’s Achilles heel since the eruption of the crisis. Over the past three years, Trump extremely focused on higher growth rates and improving the economy. Now such a crash in the markets can mean a big blow to that could potentially end his White House leadership.