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Country Reports

Corona Update: USA (9) - aktuelle Studien, Analysen und Kommentare

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

Für die Zeit vom 22. bis 28. Mai 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 gesellschaftliche Leben in den Vereinigten Staaten. Namhafte US-amerikanische Think Tanks und Experten setzen sich intensiv mit den unterschiedlichen Aspekten und Herausforderungen dieser in ihrem Umfang 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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“Building a Global Framework for Digital Health Services in the Era of COVID-19”

Quelle: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF, May 26, 2020)

Nigel Cory, Associate Director, Trade Policy; Philip Stevens, Director, Geneva Network

The report illustrates that digital technologies are showing potential during the current coronavirus crisis by facilitating collaboration between health-care researchers and reducing the need for in-person care. “While health data and digital technologies are not a silver bullet to COVID-19 and other health issues, they will be crucial to improving overall health outcomes” globally and well beyond the initial phases of the pandemic, the authors state. Cory and Stephens further argue that “low- and middle-income nations, with fledgling digital health strategies and many barriers to overcome stand to benefit the most.”


“Still the world’s safe haven? Redesigning the U.S. Treasury market after the COVID-19 crisis”

Quelle: Brookings (May 27, 2020)

Darrell Duffie, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business

The market for U.S. Treasuries has long been viewed as the world’s most liquid and deepest financial market. According to the author, that presumption was questioned when the COVID-19 crisis triggered heavy investor demands for trading that overwhelmed the capacity of dealers who usually serve as middlemen in this market. In this working paper, he proposes a study of the costs and benefits of requiring central clearing of the Treasury transactions of all firms that are active in the market.

“Crisis from Kolkata to Kabul: COVID-19’s Impact on South Asia”

Quelle: Hudson Institute (May 26, 2020)

Amb. Husain Haqqani, Director for South and Central Asia; Aparna Pande, Director, Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia

According to a country-by-country report, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens not only lives and livelihoods in South Asia but it could also be the precursor of significant political and strategic shifts in the region. Countries examined are India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The concern expressed by the authors is that “China has been expanding its influence in South Asia and could step in more aggressively to assist weakened governments with a view to controlling them in the future.”


“China Using Pandemic Aid to Push Myanmar Economic Corridor”

Quelle: U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP, May 27, 2020)

Jason Tower, Country Director for Burma

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Chinese companies and government have provided health aid to the Myanmar government. The author argues that the Chinese government is now using this aid to pressure the Myanmar government to accelerate the implementation of the cooperative economic agreements that were signed in January 2020.  At the core of the agreements is the construction of the multi-billion-dollar China-Myanmar Economic Corridor in the northern Myanmar region where armed ethnic groups have been fighting for autonomy.


“Policymakers Should Adapt COVID-19 Responses to the Evidence”

Quelle: The Heritage Foundation (May 23, 2020)

Norbert J. Michel, Director, Center for Data Analysis; Doug Badger, Visiting Fellow, Domestic Policy Studies

This 40-page background report suggest that “public policy should be relying less on lockdowns where infection rates are low, and relying more heavily on traditional public health interventions (isolation, contact tracing, and targeted travel restrictions),” especially for elderly citizens and those with comorbidity factors. Michel and Badger also report that the pandemic showed different intensities levels in different parts of the country and that the initial and widespread COVID-19 lockdown measures were instituted largely to flatten the curve and to protect the health care system from a surge of patients, and that now, “except in hotspots, policymakers should not place healthy Americans under age 55 on restrictive lockdowns.”


„State COVID-19 Data by Race”

Quelle: Johns-Hopkins-University (updated since May, 2020)

Which U.S. states have released breakdowns of COVID-19 data by race? This map, published and updated by Johns-Hopkins-University, shows the U.S. states that have released COVID -19 data by race, broken down into three critical categories: confirmed cases, deaths, and testing. The website describes the objectives of the project as follows: “It is essential that policy-makers and other decision-makers have access to these data to inform their response to the pandemic. It is also important that these data are released publicly to shed light on the intersecting forces of racial disparities, underlying conditions, and poverty that affect how the virus spreads throughout the U.S.”


“Trying to Heal America’s Divisions – an Interview with Jonathan Haidt”

Quelle: The Atlantic (May 24, 2020)

Peter Wehner, Vice President and Senior Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center

Read Peter Wehner's interview with reflections of one of Americas most esteemed social psychologists and political experts, Jonathan Haidt, as he shares his thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic, polarization, and politics in the U.S. Haidt views America to currently be in peril, yet is simultaneous optimistic the country will emerge again.


“The Way Out of Post-truth: Surmounting five riddles of the information sphere”

Quelle: Mercatus Center (May 26, 2020)

Martin Gurri, Visiting Fellow, former CIA analyst specializing in the relationship of politics and global media

The coronavirus pandemic has become the ultimate vector for post-truth information creation according to Martin Gurri. In his commentary, he provides us with his definition of, and a closer look into the process of post-truth content based on the media coverage exemplified by COVID-19. By looking into a way back out of "post-truth", he examines five distinct hurdles societies will face.


“How States Can Forecast the Impact of COVID-19 on Their Budgets”

Quelle: The Pew Charitable Trusts (May 26, 2020)

Jeff Chapman, Director, State Fiscal Health, The Pew Charitable Trusts, et al.

In this article, Chapman states that especially during the corona pandemic, states “face unprecedented levels of uncertainty about the resources they have—and will need—to protect residents, maintain critical services, and limit the economic damage.“ Chapman also refers to a Pew webinar that discussed the critical roles of epidemiological modeling for the novel coronavirus, as well as budget stress testing helping states to forecast the effect of the pandemic on their budgets. The webinar discussed several key metrics for policymakers, including testing capacity, case counts, and hospital capacity. These metrics would enable states “to model a range of scenarios and consider potential responses to each to ensure preparedness for any downturn.”


“The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life”

Quelle: The Hill (May 25, 2020)

Scott W. Atlas, Sr. fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, et al.

The authors argue in this article for The Hill that "the policies of COVID-19 have created the greatest global economic disruption in history (...) these financial losses have been falsely portrayed as purely economic. To the contrary, using numerous (…) statistics data, and various actuarial tables, we calculate that these policies will cause devastating non-economic consequences that will total millions of accumulated years of life lost in the United States, far beyond what the virus itself has caused." Policymakers would need to take this into account. "They need to emphatically and widely inform the public of these serious consequences and reassure them of their concern for all human life by strongly articulating the rationale for reopening society", say the authors.


Weitere Kurzbeiträge:

“When Autocrats Fail, Civil Society Steps Up”

Quelle: Freedom House (May 26, 2020)

Sofya Orlosky, Senior Program Manager, Eurasia

From the authors’ point of view, the “coronavirus crisis is exposing some of the most hardened authoritarian governments of Eurasia—Belarus, Russia, and Azerbaijan—as incapable of providing public-health protections.” Orlosky states in her article that “civic groups are stepping up to identify needs and mobilize resources in areas that are normally the domain of government agencies.” According to her, COVID-19 offers “the promise of transcending the “government failure” model for more sustainable public-private partnerships, where civic groups become accepted as a fully capable and complementary part of society.”


“The pandemic has exposed a need for better paid leave policies”

Quelle: American Enterprise Institute (AEI, May 26, 2020)

Angela Rachidi, Rowe Scholar

In this op-ed piece , Rachidi argues that it was “important to take care of frontline workers (during the corona crisis), but lawmakers should take care in establishing permanent leave policies.” The author specifically highlights jobs - the least likely to receive paid sick leave or paid time off – such as nursing assistants, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, and restaurant workers. The author recommends emergency paid leave policies during a public health crisis and suggests that company provisions of paid sick leave would likely be a lasting change, but stresses that it was “important to separate emergency provisions from permanent policy.”


“Another Critical Supply Chain America Must Bring Home”

Quelle: InsideSources (May 27, 2020)
Paul Steidler, Senior Fellow, Lexington Institute

In the wake of COVID-19, the U.S. electric system has become increasingly dependent on foreign suppliers for essential items, including software components that can easily be attacked. A smooth functioning electric grid is essential to America’s health, safety and way of life.  As such, the May 1 Executive Order begins the process to strengthen the bulk-power system by ensuring that critical components are made in the United States. Lexington Institute’s Paul Steidler has written a brief analysis on the topic.


“In the Wake of the Coronavirus, We Must Design and Build the Schools We Need—Not Simply Reopen Schools As They Were”

Quelle: Center for American Progress (CAP, May 26, 2020)

Khalilah M. Harris, managing director of K-12 education

The author calls for reform of the public school system in the wake of the closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to Harris, the crisis has laid bare the inequities in American public education, leaving many working class and poor students under- or unprepared for college and careers. She writes in her opinion piece that “now is the time to use that (American) ingenuity to create a system of education that makes it possible for all children to thrive”.


“A Coordinated Way to Reawaken the North American Economy”

Quelle: The Wilson Center (May 26, 2020)

Christopher Sands, Director Canada Institute;
Duncan Wood, Director Mexico Institute

In this opinion piece published by the Wilson Center, the authors look at Britain’s government and economy. They argue that the British guidelines on how to reopen businesses safely, may be adapted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Coordinating the opening of the three countries’ decentralized economies in North America, is seen as “vital if governments hope to minimize business losses.”


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Paul Linnarz

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Director KAS office USA + 1 202 464 5840


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