Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

COVID-19: US Considers A Reopening Strategy To Support The Declining Economy

FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2020 AS OF 5:00 PM EST

Worldwide, there are approximately 5,831,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with roughly 1,722,000 of those cases presenting in the United States (US). While the US is experiencing a downward trend in new cases overall, the number of cases and deaths is rising in more than a dozen states. To date, the number of deaths in the US has exceeded 100,000, which is the highest in the world and surpassed the initial estimate of 50,000 – 60,000 deaths.

Russell Tate: UnSplash

Unemployment continues to rise throughout the US, despite the gradual reopening of business across the country. Currently, it is now estimated that 1 in 4 Americans are unemployed. This is the highest number of unemployed Americans since the Great Depression, with the current unemployment rate reported at 14.7 percent. This level of damage to the US economy and hardship cannot be quickly fixed; Americans can expect economic revitalization to take many years. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, passed under the Trump Administration in March, provides a short-term solution to a long-term economic problem. Millions of Americans are relying on government assistance to abate poverty, hunger, and financial hardship. On Thursday, New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, shared his plan for  400,000 people to return to work, taking the first steps to reopen the City since its quarantine began.

Pharmaceutical companies and leaders have reported progress is being made in vaccine development. At the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) event, speakers such as AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot and  GlaxoSmithKline chief Emma Walmsley addressed how each company was working individually and collaborating with others to develop a new COVID-19 inoculation. There are currently over 100 vaccines in the pipeline to treat the virus and Jin-Bo Gou of CanSino Biologics and colleagues reported in The Lancet that the first COVID-19 vaccine in a Phase I clinical trial was found to be safe and generated an immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in humans.

Hush Naidoo: UnSplash

Global incidence continues to climb while the world continues to respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) established a foundation that will focus on addressing global health needs worldwide. This independent grant-making foundation will focus on protection from health emergencies, universal healthcare coverage, and holistic health and wellbeing for individuals.

The WHO and the Smithsonian launched a COVID-19 guide for youth, which provides information about how youth can protect themselves and their community from COVID-19. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) noted that roughly 80 million children are at risk of contracting a disease across 68 countries due to disruptions in routine immunization programs as a result of COVID-19. The United Nations has decided to delay the 2020 Climate Summit until 2021. Despite being rescheduled, nations are still expected to deliver on pledges made during the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Additionally, research is currently underway to quantify the number of people who have been infected and have immunity, to assess whether herd immunity is established across cities, towns, and communities. While the virus has infected many individuals across the world, the majority of people (even in the hardest-hit cities) remain vulnerable to contracting the virus. In fact, contact tracing efforts have begun in England and Scotland, with 25,000 contact tracers working to identify people at risk of infection.

CDC: UnSplash

The Hagerty Team encourages our readers to heed advice of international health organizations, government agencies, and local officials when responding to and protecting against COVID-19. The Hagerty Team will continue to provide information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation.


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