More data was released on Wednesday that reflects a more bleak global economic future due to the coronavirus pandemic than previously forecasted. In the United Nations' mid-year report, the world's economy will shrink by a predicted 3.2% in 2020, which is the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s. The U.N.'s report expects coronavirus related shutdowns to cut global economic output by about $8.5 trillion over the next two years.
In addition, the United States' Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated in a virtual address on the state of the nation's economy that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to bring permanent damage if more support from the federal government isn't given. Powell noted that "additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery."
Still, the nations of the world are gambling with a virus that is still open-ended in nature in order to restart their economies and ease lockdown restrictions. Health officials around the world have begun warning that a vaccine within a year is closer to luck than fact and there is still much to learn about the virus.
"This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away," Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization's emergencies program stated during the agency's Wednesday press conference. "H.I.V. has not gone away but we've come to terms with the virus and we have found the therapies and we have found the prevention methods, and people don't feel as scared as they did before."
Ryan warned that the U.S. could enter a "vicious cycle" of economic and health disasters if coronavirus restrictions are lifted too quickly.
"We should not be waiting to see if opening of lockdowns has worked by counting the cases in the I.C.U.s or counting the bodies in the morgue...The way to know the disease is coming back is to have community-based surveillance, to be testing and to know that the problem is coming back and then be able to adjust your public health measures accordingly," Ryan added.
Total Global Cases: Over 4.4 Million
Total Deaths: Over 298,000
Total Recovered: Over 1.65 Million
According the Associated Press, President Donald Trump took issue with Dr. Anthony's warnings before Senate on Tuesday and called on state governors to reopen schools.
"I think they should open the schools, absolutely. I think they should," Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. "Our country's got to get back and it's got to get back as soon as possible. And I don't consider our country coming back if the schools are closed."
Yet, there may be some signs that exposing children to the coronavirus is not as safe as previously thought. New York State health officials are investigating over 100 cases of a rare inflammatory syndrome in children that can be connected to the coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated on Wednesday.
According to the New York Times, the syndrome is known as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome and causes life-threatening inflammation of organs, including the heart.
Governor Cuomo stated that 71% of the cases investigated resulted in children being admitted to intensive care units and 43% remaining hospitalized. In addition, 60% of children showing signs of the syndrome tested positive for COVID-19, with the other 40% testing positive for antibodies.
State Contact Tracing
More than 45,000 Utah residents have signed up for the state's contact tracing app, Healthy Together, since it was released in late April, according to CNBC. The app however rejects Apple
Utah's app is uses GPS data and is integrated with the state's public health department, which is something the tech giants reject in their system. Twenty stated that the app allows for users to limit permissions like GPS or Bluetooth if they don't want their location to be tracked. The user can also choose to share their location data with the health department and any data collected will expire after 30 days.