White House and Senate reach deal on ‘largest rescue package in American history’: Three sources of help and our ultimate source of hope
“At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.” This was the announcement by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell early this morning, describing a historic $2 trillion stimulus deal.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it “the largest rescue package in American history.” The full Senate will vote on the package later today. In anticipation of the agreement, the stock market yesterday had its best day since 1933, surging more than 2,100 points. Global markets are soaring this morning as well.
This is very good news. Here’s the bad news: according to the World Health Organization, the U.S. could become the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. This is because, as the WHO noted yesterday, we are seeing “a very large outbreak and an outbreak that is increasing in intensity.”
Their statement points to the question everyone is asking: How long will this last? The question is even more urgent than it seems.
George Friedman brings clarity to our crisis
I have long followed and appreciated the work of geopolitical analyst George Friedman. In a recent column, he explains the current crisis with his usual clarity.
Friedman notes that at the moment, there are four distinct systems operating in the United States: the medical, the economic, the social, and the political. The medical system is seeking to limit the disease, infections, and deaths. As yet, it has developed no cures or preventatives.
It is asking for what it needs: supplies, equipment, and tests, but its countermeasure at present is the social. Since the disease appears to be spread primarily through human contact, the emphasis of the medical system has been to limit human interaction.
This approach, however, is drastically affecting our economic systems. As Friedman notes, “Much of the economy cannot be sustained with social distancing.” We are already seeing dire warnings that entire industries such as the airlines could collapse.
As a result, the political system is seeking to ameliorate the economic consequences of the pandemic, as the legislation announced this morning demonstrates.
Here’s the problem: as Friedman notes, “It will take time for the medical system to develop a vaccine. The economic system cannot withstand social distancing for that long without consequence. The social system cannot withstand the stress of isolation coupled with fear of poverty. The stresses snowball. And no one is to blame as it appears that there is no solution.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post, Jim Denison