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Country Reports

Corona Update: USA (15) – aktuelle Studien, Analysen und Kommentare

by Sabine Murphy, Jeanene Lairo, Elmar Sulk, Syreta Haggray, Dirk Hegen, Paul Linnarz

Für die Zeit vom 3. bis 9. Juli 2020

Die Corona-Krise hat über die erheblichen gesundheitlichen Risiken und Folgen hinaus weitreichende Auswirkungen auf die Wirtschaft, Sicherheit, Forschung, Innen- und Außenpolitik sowie das gesell- schaftliche Leben in den Vereinigten Staaten. Namhafte US-amerikanische Think Tanks und Experten setzen sich intensiv mit den unterschiedlichen Aspekten und Herausforderungen dieser in ihrem Um- fang und ihrer Schnelligkeit beispiellosen Krise auseinander. Für einen Überblick über den aktuellen Stand der Diskussion stellt das KAS-Auslandsbüro USA mit Sitz in Washington D.C. wöchentlich eine Auswahl an Studien, Analysen und Kommentaren jeweils mit Links zu den Beiträgen zusammen.

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“Reports Launch: Shaping the post-COVID-19 world together”

Quelle: The Atlantic Council (July 7, 2020)

Barry Pavel, Senior Vice President and Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, et al.

The Atlantic Council hosted a webinar discussion with White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and D-10 ambassadors and high ranking officials from Europe, Asia-Pacific and North-America to launch a three-part report on assessing geopolitical implications of COVID-19. The papers are examining several scenarios of a post-pandemic world, take a look at where geopolitics may be headed and provide a global strategy for the post-COVID19 world.


“Is There a Role for Human Rights Law in Flattening the COVID-19 Curve?”

Quelle: The Fletcher School at Tufts University (July 5, 2020)

Eileen Babbitt, professor international conflict management; John Cerone, visiting professor international law

In this podcast, the Fletcher school professors Eileen Babbitt and John Cerone discuss individual human rights vs. the public good in a time of COVID-19. As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the globe – and as populations also begin to show signs of lockdown fatigue – one of the question is whether international humanitarian law and international human rights law has any relevance for how governments respond to the outbreak. “Most of human rights law is predicated on the balancing between the rights of the individual and the public good, or the good of the community,” says Cerone, who together with Babbitt breaks down the issue.


“Have countries flattened the curve?”

Quelle: Johns Hopkins University (last update July 10, 2020)

Countries around the world are working to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic. Flattening the curve involves reducing the number of
new COVID-19 cases from one day to the next. This helps prevent healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed. When a country has fewer new COVID-19 cases emerging today than it did on a previous day, that’s a sign that the country is flattening the curve.  The Johns-Hopkins-University shows trends in different countries all over the world. On a trend line of total cases, a flattened curve looks how it sounds: flat.


“The Determinants of Fiscal and Monetary Policies During the Covid-19 Crisis”

Quelle:  National Bureau of Economic Research, (NBER, July 2020)

Efraim Benmelech, Research Associate; Nitzan Tzur-Ilan, Northwestern University and Bank of Israel

This research paper analyzes fiscal and monetary policies during the Covid-19 crisis and claims that high-income countries introduced larger fiscal policies than lower-income countries. The authors also found that “a country’s credit rating is the most important determinant of its fiscal spending during the pandemic.” Additionally, the paper raises the concern that lower-income countries and those with poor credit histories “will not be able to deploy fiscal policy tools effectively during economic crises.”


“Organized Crime and the Coronavirus in Mexico”

Quelle: Baker Institute at Rice University (July 8, 2020)

Gary Hale, nonresident fellow; Nathan Jones, nonresident scholar

According to the authors - both experts for U.S.-Mexico relations - of this study, the Covid-19 pandemic will have drastic impacts on organized crime in Mexico, and policymakers and law enforcement agents in both the U.S. and Mexico will need to adapt their strategies for fighting such crime accordingly.


“Nature is An Economic Winner for COVID-19 Recovery”

Quelle: World Resource Institute (July 6, 2020) Jonathan Cook, Senior Associate, Global commission on Adaptation, and Rod Taylor, Global Director, Forests The report lays out how countries can incorporate and accelerate already green infrastructure priorities into Covid-19-related stimulus and recovery programs. Many countries are responding to the economic impacts of Covid-19 by allocating trillions of dollars to fiscal and economic packages without taking advantage of sustainable, climate and biodiversity opportunities. The report emphasizes that any Covid-19 response must embrace the notion of “building back better.” Germany, e.g., is quoted to have included Euro 700 million to support forest conservation and management.


“U.S. Temporary Foreign Worker Visa Programs”

Quelle: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR, July 7, 2020)

Claire Felter, Senior Copy Editor/Writer

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration halted visas for most foreign workers. In this backgrounder, Felter explains the different visa categories, the debate about the program and dives into the history of welcoming foreign workers in the US and recent reforms by the current administration. She looks at the influence of COVID-19 on the programs.


“What happens if President Trump contracts COVID-19”

Quelle: The Brookings Institution, (July 8, 2020)

John Hudak, Deputy director, Center for effective Public management

What are precautions the United States would have to take if President Trump were to contract COVID-19 and how would the rest of the world react? Brooking's John Hudak reflects on such a scenario in his latest article.


Weitere Kurzbeiträge:

“Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview”

Quelle:  NiemanLab at Harvard University
 (July 6, 2020)

Adrian Bardon, Professor, Wake Forest University

In his commentary, the author dives into the question of why some people seem to deny scientifically accepted facts surrounding the coronavirus pandemic based on their ideological beliefs. Bardon writes “Motivated reasoning is what social scientists call the process of deciding what evidence to accept based on the conclusion one prefers”. He traces anthropological “assimilation into one’s tribe” as a clue to why today’s society may be split along political lines in their reaction towards the virus and their willingness or lack thereof to accept expert advice.


“How a Covid-19 Vaccine Could Cost Americans Dearly”

Quelle: New York Times (July 6, 2020)

Elisabeth Rosenthal, Editor in Chief, Kaiser Health News

This opinion piece explores issues surrounding the cost for medications and Covid-19 vaccines in particular. Rosenthal points out that “the prevailing business-centric model of American drug pricing, could well be budget breaking, perhaps making it unavailable to many.”


“Coronavirus Fraudsters Keep Prosecutors Busy”

Quelle: The Pew Charitable Trusts (July 7, 2020)

Elaine S. Povich, Staff Writer, Stateline

In this article, Povich traces fraudulent criminal activities committed during (and exploiting) the coronavirus pandemic. She lays out that government relief programs were designed to send out money quickly which may have presented more opportunities for scams. Specifically, the article discusses fraudulent applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), fake unemployment claims, alleged paycheck protection frauds, price gouging and scams offering “help” to SME’s in obtaining the PPP loans.


“Economy Brings Back 4,8 Million Jobs in June, Unemployment at 11,1 Percent”

Quelle: Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR, July 2, 2020)

Dean Baker, Co-Founder and Senior Economist

According to CEPR, the June unemployment report shows a bounce back in job gains, in sectors hardest hit by shutdowns. Of the 4,6 million people who dropped out of the labor force since February, only 1 million have been added back so far. The slow pick up in the labor market mostly affects minorities and those with less education. However, CEPR's assessment is that the report is still positive and indicates that the U.S. is slowing, but surely recovering.


“Agriculture support should be temporary and targeted, just like all other federal coronavirus aid”

Quelle: R Street Institute (July 7, 2020)

Jonathan Bydlak, Director, Fiscal and Budget Policy Project; Clark Packard, Trade Policy Counsel, Finance Insurance & Trade The authors from R Street Institute assert in the article that federal farm aid in the U.S. in response to Covid-19 crisis should be temporary and targeted. They argue this in light of efforts by lawmakers to secure further, more permanent increases to the federal agriculture safety net. There are estimates that by the end of this year farm subsidies will have more than doubled ($33 billion compared to $15 billion) since the start of the year. And that federal income subsidies in 2020 will total at least $63 billion, which will account up to 75% of net farm income.


Für die aktuellen Zahlen zur Corona-Krise in den USA:

The Centers for Disease Control:

The Johns Hopkins University:

The New York Times:


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Paul Linnarz

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Director KAS office USA + 1 202 464 5840


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