WASHINGTON: On Thursday, the US was barely affected by the country with the most coronavirus infections and announced record high unemployment, as world leaders pledged to spend $ 5 trillion to avoid a global economic collapse.
Today, more than 500,000 people worldwide are infected with the new coronavirus, and even in rich countries, the health care system is overwhelmed, leading to massive government-ordered blockades and the lives of billions of people.
In the United States, more than 83,000 people tested positive for COVID-19, ahead of Italy, which reported the highest death toll, and China was the country that first discovered the virus in Wuhan in December.
The United States registered 1,178 deaths, compared to 23,293 deaths worldwide.
“We are waging war on this virus using every financial, scientific, medical, pharmaceutical and military resource, to halt its spread and protect our citizens,” US President Donald Trump said.
With about 40% of Americans receiving a blockade order, Trump is urging citizens to play their part through social alienation: “Stay home. Relax and stay home.”
Fearing the global economic recession and even depression, leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) held crisis talks on Thursday via a video link, vowing “the United Front” to fight the epidemic and invest heavily.
“The virus respects no borders,” the leaders said in a statement.
“We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.”
They also pledged “robust” support for developing nations, where coronavirus could next take hold after ravaging China and then Europe.
However, the solidarity promised by the G-20 is scarce and China and the United States are barbed in tackling the corona virus crisis.
Italy and Spain, the countries with the second highest fatalities, are against a draft economic plan proposed by the European Union, which they say is too weak.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wants a “strong and sufficient” financial response that deploys “innovative financial instruments truly adapted to a war,” his office said.