Photo source and live data tracking: Johns Hopkins CSSE

The COVID-19 coronavirus is dominating the news cycle, stressing healthcare and emergency response, upending daily life, and threatening health, wealth and security around the globe. In lieu of our in-person conversation on March 19th, hear from five WFPG speakers who take us beyond the headlines to better understand this crisis and the potential ramifications for the US and for the world

COVID-19 Could Doom or Deliver US-China Commercial Relations:
Disaster Recovery Demands Diplomacy, Not Divorce

Anna Ashton | US-China Business Council

When the US and China reached a Phase One trade agreement in January, US companies with business in China breathed a measured sigh of relief. The agreement was hardly comprehensive, but it broke new ground in resolving old disputes. It also offered a chance at improved commercial and diplomatic engagement after many months of escalating tariffs and tension. But on the heels of the Phase One deal’s announcement, China’s coronavirus outbreak became an epidemic, bringing with it dramatic economic disruptions. COVID-19 has supplanted the trade truce as the relationship’s new destabilizing factor, one that is being leveraged more baldly and aggressively to pry our economies apart. Read more

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Public Health Actions to #FlattenTheCurve

Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal MD MPA and Matina Kakalis | New America

More than 40 new infectious diseases have emerged since the 1960s, but until the recent coronavirus pandemic, many nations had amnesia about the devastating impact of these outbreaks. As of March 23rd, over 353,692 people globally have been infected with more than 15,430 deaths. In America, more than 35,241 cases of COVID-19 have been reported with over 400 deaths thus far. On Monday, the World Health Organization reported that the pandemic is accelerating globally; it took 67 days to confirm the first hundred thousand cases, 11 days to confirm the second hundred thousand cases and just four days to confirm the third hundred thousand cases. Cases are expected to increase rapidly in the coming weeks. This life-threatening illness is overwhelming all sectors of society including health care systems with a lack of adequate testing, insufficient personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical providers, not enough hospital beds and a lack of plans in place for schools, businesses, and individuals to effectively respond. Without a vaccine or effective treatments for the disease currently available, we need to take immediate action to follow proven public health practices, like social distancing and personal hygiene, to reverse the curve of this pandemic. Read more

Coronavirus Could Bring the United States’ East Asian Allies Closer to Beijing

Miyeon Oh | Atlantic Council
| Read at

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the world, the unfolding economic and public health crises may see China’s neighbors shift their attention back towards Beijing, potentially threatening the United States’ leadership position in the region and its ability to maintain its advantage in strategic competition with Beijing. Kurt Campbell and Rush Doshi recently warned that China is moving quickly to position itself as the global leader of the pandemic response, while the United States is struggling with its efforts to battle the virus at home. As many of the United States’ most important allies and partners rely heavily on China economically, Washington needs to coordinate not only with its allies and partners, but also with China, to fight the global pandemic and minimize its economic impact. Read more

The Global Economic Impacts of COVID-19
Stephanie Segal | CSIS | Read at

Stephanie SegalSegal has been focused on the economic ramifications of COVID-19 for both the US and the world. In her recent post, The Global Economic Impacts of COVID-19, she covers the economic consequences of the pandemic, and in Dollar Swap Lines: Welcome Support but Only Part of the Solution she breaks down the impact of the Federal Reserve's decision. Segal also joined fellow CSIS experts Heather Conley and Steve Morrison for a conversation on the new phase of the pandemic in the US and US government response.

Coronavirus Inspires Divergent Messages and Misinformation
Eileen Drage O'Reilly | Axios | Read on

Misinformation and mixed messages from leaders are compounding people's natural fear about the pandemic from the new coronavirus and diverting their attention from the steps scientists say are needed to quell the outbreak. Even the best-case scenario is dire for Americans, and that's based on social distancing and other measures having the chance to take effect. The dichotomy between some of the White House rhetoric and what scientific experts expound is taking its toll on people who need clear communication on how to combat the novel coronavirus. This is compounded by a frenzy on social media of lies that are helping undermine trust in governments and global health organizations. A new trend to watch, says University of Washington's Jevin West, has been the appearance of "people who are not even experts in this field, who are gaining influence" and have become "influencers." Plus there's a known proliferation of disinformation, West tells Axios, often promoted by bots and trolls based abroad. He points to a false study that went viral on how to tell if you have COVID-19 supposedly from Stanford, which quickly debunked it. Read more