The Deterioration in the Economic Outlook

Goldman Sachs reported out their forecast. Don’t be deceived by the “snapback” in growth rates…the levels look grim.

Figure 1: GDP (black), CBO January 2020 forecast (gray), Goldman Sachs March 4 forecast (pink), Goldman Sachs March 15 forecast, all in bn.Ch.2012$, SAAR. Source: BEA 2019Q4 2nd release, CBO Budget and Economic Outlook (January 2020), Goldman Sachs, and author’s calculations.

Note the 15 March forecast predates the Fed action going to the ZLB.

The probability of recession remains elevated.

Figure 2: Economic Policy Uncertainty index (blue, left scale), PredictIt odds of recession (red, right scale). Source:, PredictIt.

76 thoughts on “The Deterioration in the Economic Outlook

  1. macroduck

    The Fed has taken aggressive action. The communication focuses on economic consequences of Covid-19, but the Fed actually has limited power to do anything but prevent a liquidity shock right now. Time now for Congress to take steps behind what the House has passed.

  2. Bruce Hall

    This is certainly as bad as 2008; people are reacting out of pure fear. There will be pockets of the economy that do well: healthcare, food distribution/home delivery, big pharma… but travel, hospitality, and entertainment are going to get kicked in the butt. Individually, there will be a lot of savings evaporate. It’s going to be tough until the fear of the disease declines significantly. Right now the “fear index” is extremely high; expect that to show up here.

    This is not a financial-caused meltdown; this is a fear caused meltdown. We’ll have to see if this much fear was justified.

    But I see two positives (which some will see as negatives):
    1. The present situation is demonstrating that government and business can work together for the “general welfare” rather than their normal adversarial relationship
    2. The will be a re-evaluation of supply chain strategies toward diversification rather all the bags in one supplier basket (cheapest is not always cheapest).

    1. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall this is a fear caused meltdown. We’ll have to see if this much fear was justified.

      How would you know, even long after the fact? It seems to me that the greater the fear the more likely it will be that things turn out not as badly as they might otherwise. The best way to ensure a worst case outcome is to take a relaxed attitude about the threat.

      As to supply chains, after this I would hope that a lot of corporations would learn the lesson of relying upon simpleminded, commercial out-of-the-box ERP systems. The math (if you want to call it that) underlying a lot of the ERP logistics systems is hopelessly naive. All of them assume a steady state approach and don’t want to invest in the sophistication of dynamic approaches.

    2. macroduck

      The supply-chain answer may not be diversification. It may be shortening. Trump’s trade war has already convinced many forms that a shorter supply chain is wise. Decisions made in response to just one shock are unlikely when businesses have suffered two shocks.

    3. Willie

      This is not like 2008. It won’t be worse, unless the virus gets all biblical in its reach and fatality rate. The economy was sputtering for a while and will not absorb this shock like it did the orange guppy’s misguided trade disputes. We cannot say how long this will last because we do not know how bad it will be.

      As far as it being a fear driven slowdown, you are flat wrong. It is a slowdown that is being induced by what appear to be necessary precautions in the face of a threat nobody can quantify yet. That is not fear. It is practicality. If anything, fear should delay the full effects of the slowdown as consumers start hoarding.

      This will be the first recovery led by toilet paper and canned beans.

    4. Steven Danis

      The Covid-19 catastrophe I believe is going to be exacerbated by two relevant and related characteristics of American society. First, that medical care coverage is so unevenly distributed. There are tens of millions still without any type of medical insurance, and millions more with insurance they find to be more or less useless, such as ACA policies with very very high deductibles. Secondly, the lack of household financial resources among a large percentage of the population means that many have no cushion to see them through hard times. The Federal Reserve study of a few years ago which found that some 40% of all household could not come up with 400 dollars to deal with an emergency (and Covid-19 is certainly an emergency) and that over 50% of all households could not raise 1000 dollars shows how difficult the situation threatens to become for a large segment of American society. Trump has the most to lose in this catastrophe of course, but all incumbent politicians are now feeling the heat with multiple proposals being floated to ease the situation. Surprisingly, MItt Romney of all people seems to have proposed the most simple, easy to implement and immediate measure which is to send every adult American a thousand dollars. It’s a program which would cost about 250 billion dollars, a third of what we now lavish on the Pentagon each year, and would have an immediate effect on the low and moderate income segment which makes up the overwhelming majority of the population.

      1. Moses Herzog

        It’s a private system Mr. Danis, and very efficient. Did you forget to read your Rand Paul and Ayn Rand today?? When both of your grandmothers croak from not getting enough air in their lungs, just tell them “But if you were in Canada, they suffer with free public health care, so you never would have enjoyed insurance premiums, paying exorbitant prices for prescription drugs, or being denied coverage”. Your grandma will smile nostalgically and in her last breath say in a faint voice “Do you know if Ted Cruz is still jerking it to Cory Chase??”

      2. Steven Kopits

        As Joe Biden pointed out, Italy has universal health insurance, and it’s a disaster.

        On the other hand, I think we just laid off millions of hourly workers. In NYC, probably 80% of those in a restaurant not on salary, to pick just one example.

        The question is whether the business community treats the situation as a passing crisis or a cyclical downturn. If they start laying off people, things could get really, really bad. It’s absolutely crucial to head off employers at the pass: no one gets laid off, salaries are paid, government will provide no interest loan or subsidy as necessary.

        1. Willie

          There are cultural aspects at play, not just the healthcare system. Italians are far more likely to live in multi-generational households than more northern Europeans and people living in the US and Canada.

          As far as the government subsidizing businesses to keep people on in a crisis, where’s the usual right wing Ayn Rand-o-bot right wing allergy to government bailouts? Oh, right, a Republican is in power. Got it. It’s a tribal thing. Hurting millions of Americans, as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell did in 2009 and 2010 is ok as long as it hurts the Democratic Party’s prospects.

          Color me disgusted.

        2. pgl

          Excuse me Mr. Fake Analysis but the existence of universal health was NOT why Italy is struggling with this. Oh wait – you are once again lobbying to get an appearance on Fox and Friends. Don’t let me get in your way.

        3. baffling

          “As Joe Biden pointed out, Italy has universal health insurance, and it’s a disaster.”
          we don’t have universal health insurance. has that aspect stopped the spread of the virus? no. availability of testing would have made a big difference. you think private insurance would respond better to that scenario? it is requiring a government mandate to cover the cost of testing to get this aspect into society today. you think the free market would have accomplished this, steven. how many deaths would the free market accept before they decided it was worth taking action?

    1. Bruce Hall

      Wally, what is driving this sudden urge for self-protection? Fear of ….

      2slug, actually, I think that we may never know if things will be less bad or not. If we are driven to excessive protection, we won’t know how much, if any, better outcome is due to our actions because of our fears and how things might have turned out without the fear. We can only speculate and generalize saying we might be saving a lot of lives at a very great economic cost, but we’ll never really be able to quantify how many lives were saved and how much of the cost did little or nothing. If 50,000 or 100,000 people die (about 10 times flu-related deaths) did our actions save more lives, or was that the “natural” level for this disease? If we didn’t isolate everyone and cripple a large part of the economy, would the outcome be significantly different? I don’t know how to answer that. Once we take one course, we can’t re-live the events under a different course.

      Therefore, I cannot either refute or support your statement: The best way to ensure a worst case outcome is to take a relaxed attitude about the threat. You presume that the Chinese approach is more successful than letting people go about their daily lives and when someone gets ill, treating them. If the virus is still active, how long do you isolate people? And when you stop isolating people, do more people begin to get sick? And at the end of the run, have the same number of people gotten sick by dragging out the epidemic through temporary isolation periods that would have gotten sick by not isolating?

      I’m inclined to believe that this temporary isolation approach can be considered successful if an effective vaccine can be developed and dispersed quickly; the temporary economy chaos would be worth it. But if it takes 12-18 months to come up with an effective vaccine, this high-cost-to-the-economy approach will have only slightly delayed, not reduced the overall bad health outcomes. I don’t believe the economy can withstand 12-18 months of shutdown and I don’t believe the people will accept that.

      1. Wally

        “what is driving this sudden urge for self-protection?”

        Rational assessment based on what epidemiologists tell us, not on ‘what the stock market did last time” experts.

        1. Bruce Hall

          Wally Rational assessment based on what epidemiologists tell us i.e., fear. I didn’t say anything about what the stock market did in 2008. Those are only your words.

    2. Baffling

      Bruce is living in denial that this virus is a demographic changer, and that he is in the heart of the most vulnerable demographic. This is what happens when you watch the faux news spin over the past month. You dont realize you are the “other people” discussed on those spin shows.

      1. Bruce Hall

        Baffling, please read my response to 2slugbaits.

        I am aware that as a retiree I am in the more vulnerable demographic. My chance of not dying from an infection is >90%. I will, as any person should, take reasonable precautions, so I won’t go to nursing homes with a lot of people who are ill and I won’t go to a hospital ER unless I really have a dire emergency, and I don’t frequent bars or indoor sporting events (except the grandkids’). However, that doesn’t mean life has to stop… although it might. I could contract the flu and then pneumonia. So could you.

        If someone told you that you had a 90% chance of winning the lottery, you might consider that good odds.

        At some point, we’re going to have to face the fact that this virus is not going to go away. It may lurk in the background temporarily, but it will come back. Until such time that there is a highly effective vaccine or even a cure, the danger is there. So do we all stop living for fear of dying? We adapt without surrendering. I’m sure you are willing to self-quarantine for however long it takes until that vaccine/cure is available, but I’m not so sure that most people will. At some point reality must be faced.

        Perhaps we will be fortunate and this virus will run its course like the flu which never quite goes away despite vaccinations, but give us a seasonal break:

        Whatever you do personally, I wish you success in avoiding this disease. But I’m not all tha sanguine that self-isolation is going to be anything more than a temporary defensive action.

        1. Wally

          “My chance of not dying from an infection is >90%”

          Aw, jeez. First of all, those percent odds come from a single Chinese report released in mid-February and may or may not hold up over time or elsewhere (hasn’t in Italy so far).
          Second, if one of every ten airline flights crashed, would you fly?

          1. pgl

            Hey if you put a single bullet in a pistol and play one round of Russian roulette, then you have a 5/6 chance of surviving. Oh course, very few people would be stupid enough to play this deadly game. But judging from Brucie boy’s comments, he is indeed dumb enough to play Russian roulette. What could go wrong?

        2. Willie

          That means you have a 10% chance of dying a miserable death. That’s not exactly a rosy proposition. Especially if you consider that this bug isn’t too pleasant while you have it, even if you recover. Not odds I particularly like, but I guess it’s better than Russian roulette with a six-gun.

          We just flat don’t know what the disease will do. Even if it goes away tomorrow, there will be long-term economic fallout. There are people who are now out of work, and those people will have a period of time they will have to retrench. There are other people whose incomes will drop, and they will also have some retrenchment time. Businesses’ cash flows are getting pinched, with the result that capital improvements (real ones based on market conditions, not vaporware based on foolish tax policy) will be put off. And so on down the line. Construction will slow. New projects may get postponed. We don’t know about that last one yet.

          So, here we go. Buckle up. It won’t be a two week setback with roses and unicorns in April. Don’t forget that the effects of the Trump tax fiddle will come due in April as well. Taxes will seem higher for a whole lot of people. That’s going to be an ugly surprise, with negative results for the economy.

          But, whatever. MAGA. As long as Putin can keep his favorite dim-wit in office screwing things up, all is well on the idiot right.

        3. 2slugbaits

          Bruce Hall My chance of not dying from an infection is >90%.

          That’s probably true if you’re only referring to your unconditional chances. Your conditional chances are much, much, much grimmer. If you’re young, then your chances of getting infected and showing symptoms are slight. And if you do show symptoms, your chances of dying are tiny….way less than 1%. If you’re in your 70s, then your chances of developing symptoms after being infected are quite high…around 10%. And if you’re in your 70s and you do become symptomatic, then your chances of dying are around 20%. If you’re in your 80s, then the relevant odds are roughly 20% & 40%, respectively.

          Self-isolation cannot become a permanent way of life. We agree on that. But in the absence of adequate testing capacity, the first line of defense has to be shutting things down for a couple of weeks. That will go a long way towards slowing the spread until other measures come on line. All nonessential workers should be put on paid leave, and the government should write the checks to cover missed work. In this regard Trump’s approach is utterly wrongheaded. For example, Trump was praising the auto industry for keeping production lines going. Absolutely the wrong strategy. We should be putting the economy into hibernation long enough to stop the spread, which should take no more than a few weeks. By then we should have enough test kits and test labs up-and-running that we’ll have a better handle on who is contagious and who isn’t. By early summer we might have an effective therapy, although a vaccine is at least a year away. But if you’ve got test kits and an effective therapy, then the case for a vaccine is less urgent. There will be an economic downturn. That’s just inevitable. And the economic consequences of having to pay people to stay home are going to hurt down the road. But the good news is that we at least know how to handle those kinds of garden variety macroeconomic problems that we’ll face down the road. But for right now it’s time to set phasers to stun and put the economy to sleep for a few weeks.

          And then there are idiots like Dennis Nunes on Fox Noise. What a moron.

          One of my sisters lives in Paris (her husband is an economist at the OECD). I talked with her the other day and she was telling me how the city is totally shut down. Unlike people in this country, Parisians tend to shop daily so it’s a lot harder to self-quarantine. To make matters worse, Parisians typically have very small refrigerators, so you can’t keep a lot of stuff on hand even if you wanted to.

        4. pgl

          “If someone told you that you had a 90% chance of winning the lottery, you might consider that good odds.”

          Why do write such stupid garbage? Not dying is equivalent to winning the lottery. BTW – something tells me that your chances of dying are more than 10% if you get COVID-19. Unless utter stupidity is a form of protection.

        5. baffling

          bruce, i can see how your response to the virus and your response to global warming are effectively the same. in neither case do you believe we can acceptably treat the problem, and you also assume any direct solution will be economically too much of a burden. so you decide it is best to simply move forward as is and accept the risk. your choice. but in both cases, your actions may have devastating impacts on those around you, who share a more active solution to the problem. not exactly a profile in courage and leadership, i can assure you.

        6. Ulenspiegel

          “My chance of not dying from an infection is >90%.”

          If you get an ICU bed. Otherwise your chance is lower.

  3. Moses Herzog

    I’m speaking honestly here (not filtering internal thoughts). When commenter pgl had made the point that trial tests on potential vaccines were just that–trial tests—and did not indicate an immediate ability to deliver a vaccine, I basically thought it was an unnecessary point to make—i.e. self-evident. Nearly every reliable source makes an educated guess of roughly 1 year until a vaccine can be prepped and ready for real use. However, judging from Bruce Hall’s inability to understand even basic level English (I had ESL students in China whose reading comprehension was/is WAY above Bruce’s) this should not be assumed. This therefor makes pgl’s “spelling it out” a worthy effort. And I have found multiple people on other websites, who commonly claim that a vaccine is now< “available”, but “only in small batches” “to the wealthy”. You’ll find few people who are more sympathetic to conspiracy theories involving the wealthy crapping on the poor. This one however, is not one I can partake in—as it has zero believability in this instance.

    There are enough legit conspiracy theories in this world—we needn’t be creative to add to them.

    1. pgl

      You are so right. I woke up this morning to read the latest pollyanna BS from Bruce Hall and decided it was not worth my time responding to his babbling. But thanks to everyone else for taking on the incessant dumb comments that this Trump sycophant spews out on a daily basis.

    2. Bruce Hall

      Moses, I suggest you actually read what I wrote. Yes, there are a number of research labs suggesting they have a potential vaccine, but I never indicated it was “available” to the general public. Much depends on the actual testing processes, both here and in other countries (we tend to have very parochial views about our way being the only way to success). In the U.S., the availability of any vaccine will depend on how much the FDA is willing to bend its parochial regulations with regard to either domestic or foreign vaccine development and acceptance.

      I don’t recall ever indicating that a vaccine was “available”, but “only in small batches” “to the wealthy”.. I did provide links to articles indicating progress was being made in laboratories toward developing a virus. I believe that’s a bit different than your characterization.

      1. pgl

        “I suggest you actually read what I wrote.”

        You write a lot of intellectual garbage. So stop whining when people call your BS what is – BS.

        1. Bruce Hall

          pgl you are a great “opposition” party; always the critic, but never a solver.

          So, please, lay out your strategy, plans, and processes to handle the next 18 months without major disruption to the economy and unnecessary isolation of all of the people in this country.

          • will you be holed up for the next year or so?
          • will you test everyone with whom you come in contact?
          • will you demand the government take care of you in all phases of your life?
          Waiting… waiting….

          Nah, you’ll just sit at your computer and criticize everything… but really offer nothing.

          1. pgl

            Whine, whine, whine. I have made positive suggestions but of course a lying dimwit like you would never pick up on that. Of course the many good ideas from our governors and medical professionals have been ignored by your boy Trump.

            BTW – I went to the gym today only to learn that the booze hounds crowded the bars over the weekend which led to everything being closed for all of us. And given your really pathetic pollyanna comments – you were likely hanging out at the bars until 2 in the morning.

          2. pgl

            “will you test everyone with whom you come in contact?”

            I’m not a medical professional so not me. But the medical professionals could do adequate testing except that idiot President you shill for dropped the ball on this issue as well as everything else.

  4. Barkley Rosser

    Regarding the economics outlook, one of the weirder things that happened today is that after the fed did Trump’s bidding and lowered target fed funds rate to zero, the stock market futures markets prompltly fell by 5%. Is this the markets thinking the Fed is seeing even worse things coming? Is this the markets thinking the Fed has now shot its wad and will have little left in the way of weapons? And if indeed the markets tank tomrrow, will Trump go back to mumbling about firing or demoting Powells?

    1. Jake formerly of the LP

      This is correct. The Fed is trying to give a message of “we will help”, but the market sees the message of “THINGS ARE TERRIBLE. PANIC!”

      And now the Fed is out of options beyond printing a bunch of money to bail out companies who wasted their tax cuts on stock buybacks and borrowing even more money. Not a sustainable solution.

  5. macroduck

    I don’t usually give much credence to the idea that sees something we don’t see. The Fed works with publicly available information and thousands of people are engaged in evaluating the same information outside the Fed. This time may be different, in that the Fed appears to have reacted to the threat of financial disruption. The Fed has considerable advantage in identifying the onset of financial disruption.

    If the Fed identified a nascent financial disruption and headed it off, the stock market reaction is perverse. However, the recent pattern of volatility being what it is, Friday’s bounce made a sell-off the likely trade today.

    1. Willie

      An ER doctor out here has contracted COVID-19. He’s in his 40s. He’s also in intensive care. The first round of testing came back negative, but his symptoms got worse. He was retested and came up positive. This stuff is not to be messed with.

      1. pgl

        “What the data is showing is that for this to be true, we need to “bend the curve”. Don’t do that and we become the nightmare of Italy, do it quickly and we could be more like Taiwan which is managing this crisis. So what does that mean and what do we need to do as fast as we can?”

        Bruce’s own expert has just undermined all the intellectual garbage Brucie has inflicted us with here. Take a bow Bruce – you win the award for Stupidest Man Alive!

      2. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall This “physician” doesn’t know what he’s talking about. If you want some real statistical analysis that shows you the right way to understand COVID-19 mortality data, then let me suggest this study by the University of Bern:

        Specifically, look at Table 1 and then find your age group. And BTW, quit listening to Fox Noise. It’s hazardous to your health.

        1. pgl

          Listening to some dude on MSNBC who has modeled out the 2 scenarios. Go with this social distancing that Bruce Hall hates and we can limit the number of deaths to 60 thousand. That is still a lot but if we follow Bruce Hall’s go out and be merry nonsense, the death count will exceed 100 thousand.

          OK – maybe in Bruce Hall’s cost/benefit analysis 40 thousand needless deaths is a small price to get Trump reelected.

      3. dilbert dogbert

        What virus expertise do the orthopedic surgeons have???? Do they cut to remove the viral load??? The World Wonders.

  6. pgl

    The forecasted levels do look grim but my fear is that the reality will be a lot worse than this G-S forecast. I just hope their forecast is right.

  7. pgl

    So NYC is finally testing and the number of COVID-19 jumped by 134 in one day to 463 total. I’m sure with more tests, we will find more cases. But our favorite Trump sycophant thinks this is only about irrational fear. Go figure!

    1. Bruce Hall

      Based on your link to “concerned physicians”, they (he) is not recommending everyone self-isolate; only those over 60. What about those people over 60 who have jobs that the rest of use rely on for food and other supplies? Just quit? For the most part, people are aware of the disease and that practicing better hygiene is important.

      The fact that New York City (population 8.4 million) had a “jump” of about 330 people simply reflects the extremely small number of known infections; it doesn’t reflect people who have been asymptomatic or figured they had a cold and went about their business (the large majority of cases). Would testing those people have changed the outcome of their infection? Would instilling fear in those people be rational? They probably would not have been tested because of their lack of symptoms (or are you suggesting weekly testing for 330 million people?).

      The real issues are:
      • lack of a vaccine (a worldwide problem; not just a U.S. problem)
      • insufficient hospital capacity to handle a potentially large increase in sick patients, partly due to Certificate of Need requirements based on “normal” case loads (how about CONs for all other service-related businesses?)
      • not knowing if the virus follows a seasonal pattern like other coronaviruses; if it does, there would be a natural falloff in spring and a resurgence in fall and being able to adjust strategies to that pattern.

      We can’t magically make a vaccine appear, but we can quickly address the hospital capacity problem (and contamination of entire hospitals) by setting up modular field hospitals dedicated to assessing patients and treating them in a contained environment.

      Still waiting for your strategies, plans, and processes. But let me guess, everyone stays home, cripple the economy, create dependency on the government for all phases of life, and vote for Bernie in November.

      1. pgl

        “Based on your link to “concerned physicians”, they (he) is not recommending everyone self-isolate; only those over 60.”

        I just re-read that link and even the dumbest person on the planet would not get this message. In fact, they put this in green so no one could miss it:
        ‘Who should follow our suggested social isolation measures? EVERYONE. If you do not need to go out for a mission-critical purpose, do not. Again, you WILL be saving the lives of at-risk members of your own family, as well as people you will never have the pleasure of meeting.’

        So Bruce – it is clear you have flat out lied here. Nothing new for you. Whether it is stupidity or mendacity that drives your intellectual garbage? Oh wait – with you it is both.

      2. pgl

        “The real issues are:
        • lack of a vaccine (a worldwide problem; not just a U.S. problem)”

        This from the Trump sycophant who keeps thinking a vaccine is around the corner. No the Germans have something but it is only in phase I trials. BTW Trump is such a fool that he thinks it should be developed only from Americans but not Europeans. Dumb at so many levels. But Bruce “the stupidest man alive” Hall continues

        “insufficient hospital capacity to handle a potentially large increase in sick patients, partly due to Certificate of Need requirements based on “normal” case loads (how about CONs for all other service-related businesses?)”

        The governors this morning were screaming from more ventilators but Trump told them they were on their own.

      3. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall There is no evidence whatsoever that the COVID-19 virus is seasonal like the flu. None. Zilch. And there’s plenty of evidence that it’s not seasonal.
        As to voting in November, I sure hope people don’t vote for Trump. He’s bungled this crisis about as badly as humanly possible. For weeks he was in denial and didn’t want to hear any bad news. And the way he handled the mass exodus from Europe to US airports over the weekend was entirely predictable and avoidable by anyone with any intelligence or executive skills. You refuse to admit to yourself that voting for Trump was a colossal mistake, and as a result I’ve seen your posts on this COVID-19 topic migrate from more-or-less reasonable to outright defensive and crazy. You’ve become very defensive of your having voted for Trump. Time to “man up” and admit that you were wrong and the guy is not fit for the job.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ 2slugbaits
          Ohio is “delaying” their primary. What does this mean for November?? When the orange creature in the White House knows its popularity is dropping and has shown no limits to its amoral floor, like a rabid rat caught in the corner of a barn, what is the orange creature’s next move?? He’s once again being given license to meddle with election laws and election tradition— expect Dementia Nancy to hand him the keys to the car “to show the public we can pass laws promptly when needed”. The woman just needs a large sign posted on her back reading “Please leave an associated signature with your tire tracks, so as to give proper attribution to which tire tread belongs to which Republican”.

          I call her Dementia Nancy, but McConnell prefers to call her “Road Kill Nancy: Sequel 5,001”

          1. 2slugbaits

            Moses Herzog Yep. A few weeks ago I was musing about this very possibility. States should be ramping up mail-in balloting as a contingency plan. Mail-in paper ballots would also limit Russia’s ability to interfere in the election. The only downside to mail-in ballots is that it will take longer to find out who wins…but back in olden daze our ancestors were patient enough to wait a few weeks to find out who won, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t learn to be patient as well.

          2. Willie

            The orange guppy might try to suspend the election as part of this emergency. I can see him attempting to do that. The states run the election, not the federal government. So, if GOP controlled states go along, the Democratic Party controlled states may not. This could be a complete fiasco. I’m not convinced even GOP controlled states would go along with the suspension of an election. If the economy tanks, it might be the only plausible way for the orange guppy to stay in power.

          3. Barkley Rosser


            You support the idea of the House doing nothing so as to make sure that the American population will die in larger numbers (thee bill makes testing free) and leads to further ecnomic damage (bill does not offer paid leave to all workers as it should but does for some) so as to make people angrier at Trump and more likely to vote him out? That Nancy Pelosi has pushed such a bill through the House leads you to repeat this utterly insane drivel of yours that she is “Dementia Nancy”?

            Just how utterly sick, stupid, and screwed up are you? Utteerly despicable, thst is what you are, you disgusting and worthelsss scumbag. You make Bruce Hall look like a wise man here by comparison.

      4. baffling

        “Would testing those people have changed the outcome of their infection?”
        no bruce, they probably would have not. but they certainly could have decreased the number of additional people to be infected. the idea is to get the Ro count to under 1. you accomplish this by either acquiring herd immunity (which is effective but lethal to many folks), or isolate the susceptible AND the contagious. why is this so difficult for you to understand? an asymptomatic infected patient is akin to typhoid mary. this is why beijing is still locked down, two months later.

  8. joseph

    Bruce Hall: “the availability of any vaccine will depend on how much the FDA is willing to bend its parochial regulations”

    Parochial regulations? Is this some QAnon or Breitbart triggering code phrase like “confiscatory taxes” or “fiat currency” that I should be aware of?

    1. pgl

      Bruce Hall clearly has no clue what the process of clinical trials even looks like. I bet he thinks if we wave the magic wand a couple of times, magic occurs. Yes – he is clearly that damn stupid.

  9. pgl

    I suggested to Moses earlier that it was time to just ignore Bruce Hall’s really stupid rants. But it seems this troll is now out and out lying to us about so many things it is hard to keep track. You know – it is almost like trying to keep up with Trump’s dishonest tweets.

  10. pgl

    Why has Gilead Sciences seen a large rise in its stock price over the past few weeks?

    Hopes rise over experimental drug’s effectiveness against coronavirus
    Many see remdesivir as one of few drugs that has reasonable prospect of helping patients
    A US biotech firm has ramped up production of an experimental drug that has become a focal point for hopes of an effective treatment for coronavirus. The first clinical trial of the antiviral medicine remdesivir in Covid-19 patients is due to report its findings next month according to Gilead Sciences, which said it had accelerated manufacturing of the drug to increase its supplies “as rapidly as possible”.

    Let’s be clear – these are phase III trials for a cure, which should raise a lot more hope than phase I trials for a vaccine. But of course Bruce Hall claims I have no plan but his plan is so much more hopeful. Can I repeat this – his grand idea is for a possible vaccine that has only started phase I trials whereas Gilead is in phase III trials for cure.

    I know, I know – Bruce Hall is way too stupid to understand any of this!

  11. Willie

    Setting aside the virus for a moment, it looks like the economy was falling off the original CBO estimate before the virus hit. The virus made the house of cards fall, but it didn’t make the house of cards unstable. The economy was already on the verge of a recession when the virus hit. The virus was the last straw. Am I missing anything?

  12. Moses Herzog

    Do I think this is morally wrong?? YES, I do. Does it bother me?? YES, it does. But I’ll tell you something: It would bother me a whole hell of a lot more if the Chinese government didn’t pull this same crap all the time on a regular basis.

    Maybe, ust maybe, if the Chinese government gets some of the same bile splashing back on their shirt they love throwing at everyone else whenever their little party bureaucracy “screws the pooch”, they’ll stop doing it. Likely?? NO. But I think it puts them in an odd spot when multiple countries know the root cause of this. “Wet markets” which the Chinese government makes minimal to ZERO effort to shutdown. You can’t blame that one on Xinjiang “thieves”. Not that Beijing won’t try.

  13. pgl

    Dr. Anthony Fauci is a fellow runner from Brooklyn! And he is a lot smarter than either Donald Trump or Bruce Hall when it comes to possible vaccines for COVID-19. If one listened to him carefully about the experiments on potential vaccines yesterday, these might or might not work but the trials will take over a year to conduct. Just saying as Trump thinks we can rush this and Bruce Hall is under the illusion we are about to have some sort of magic wand anyday.

    1. Ulenspiegel

      “If one listened to him carefully about the experiments on potential vaccines yesterday, these might or might not work but the trials will take over a year to conduct.”

      That is opinion of other experts too. However, with an increasing number of corona deaths it is suggested to shorten the clinical phases. The damage may in the corona context acceptable. Tough decisions.

      1. pgl

        Having a vaccine would be nice but yea – we will have to wait until 2021 or even longer. A cure would be nicer as Gilead Sciences is doing phase III trials on something that shows promise.

    1. Willie

      It isn’t MAGA-land any more? Do you really believe the true believers will turn on Trump? Not a chance, especially after he called this the China virus. That clown slips in racism and xenophobia any chance he gets, or maybe it just leaks out of him because he’s xenophobic and racist. Either way, it’s bad, and either way, it fits in with the outlooks of a certain percentage of the population in all countries. Ironic, eh? Racism and stupidity are equal opportunity.

  14. pgl

    Bruce Hall thought he was defending Trump by his whining about fear. Little did this Trump sycophant realize that Trump’s come to Jesus moment came as a result of some UK shock report that was not peer reviewed!

    President Trump’s surprisingly sober press conference on Monday was reportedly sparked by a British study suggesting that the U.S. could face 2.2 million fatalities if the coronavirus epidemic goes unabated. The report — embedded below — was put together by a team of epidemiologists at Imperial College London. Though it has not been peer-reviewed, the report made shockwaves after being sent to the White House on Sunday, its lead author, epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, told the Times.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ pgl
      I saw some interesting Chinese academic authored papers. I may be remembering this wrong in my head, but interestingly I think they were in the same Lancet journal that published the Yale study on “Medicare for All”. I haven’t read all of them yet (there were roughly 4 papers you could DL for FREE) but what I skimmed was very interesting. Remember this was weeks ago, and one of the items said if you already had pneumonia you were at much higher risk of death from COVID-19. Now some might laugh at that now as very apparent without seeing it in a research paper. But many people now think of pneumonia as a crossable hurdle, and it may not register with many people what a literally deadly combination that is. Remember we live in a world where the Bruce Hall’s of the world are running around telling everyone there’s a vaccine that’s going to be handed out this coming Wednesday at hospitals across the nation. So….. I thought that was something worth letting people know. Those papers have some other interesting facts.

      I don’t view this as “caused by” any nation. But let me say, if certain nations were more diligent about shutting down “wet markets” the odds of this happening again go down considerably. There are pretty strong reasons to believe that the cultural phenomena behind SARS are the near same exact cultural phenomena behind COVID-19. If those governments don’t put a hardline squash on “wet markets” going forward longterm, we can very much look-forward to going through this process again in the next 15-20 years subsequent to COVID-19 being “beat”.

      I don’t think Beijing wants “third time is the charm” on SARS, COVID-19 events. However, the cognitive dissonance by people such as Zhao Lijian, is utterly amazing to those not already accustomed to Beijing’s foreign affairs movie script. That Beijing script is that EVERYTHING becomes “foreign affairs” when Beijing is looking for someone to blame for a Beijing government F***-up.

      1. Moses Herzog

        I want to add—when I was in China, during SARS, nearly everyone knew SARS had its birthplace in Guangdong province—-so what fictional storyline was Beijing promoting?? It was a commonly repeated rumor that SARS was “The Hong Kong disease”, which, at the time, anyone with a functioning brain knew was laughable.

  15. oee

    the economy had been in recession since late-2019. What did the Covid-19 situation did was to pop the bubble . 40 % of S & P companies were losing money already before.

  16. Ulenspiegel

    “My chance of not dying from an infection is >90%.”

    If you get an ICU bed. Otherwise your chance is lower.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I think age is the big factor here. What I can glean (very very little) out of the death data thus far is age 55 and up is where it gets a little “hairy”.

    2. Moses Herzog

      I should add here, if you are a “young person”, or younger than age 55, you need to think how you are spreading the virus, even if you are at “low risk” of dying. You can spread the virus to vulnerable people even when you’re not showing symptoms yet. Do you want the death of another person (however unintentional) to be on your conscience?? I sure as hell don’t. I have enough regular screw-ups to feel guilty about as it is.

    3. Moses Herzog

      I should also say, anyone who has died from and/or acquired MERS inside of a hospital would find your quoting of “odds” connected to dying related to an ICU bed interesting.

      With your German looking ID name here, I thought you were half-intelligent on these things. See, that’s what I get for making an assumption based on ethnicity. My bad.

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