China recorded 600 cases in the last 15 days as the delta variant has forced the country to impose strict lockdowns. The United States surpassed the sobering milestone of 750,000 COVID-19 deaths despite the widespread availability of vaccines. Worldwide, the pandemic has been devastating – accounting for 5 million deaths thus far.
It all started in China. Of course, China has denied that the virus originated from its labs in Wuhan. The most recent declassified document from the Director of National Intelligence concluded that due to repeated stalling by the Chinese government and impeding access to inspectors, the source of the virus i.e. from animal to humans or lab accident etc. cannot be verified. The report also states that the Chinese insist that the outbreak may have begun in another country, without any evidence to back that claim.
The Delta variant, which is now sweeping the world, started in India. The Indian government completely mismanaged the containment of the virus last year. When the world went into lockdown, the Indian government didn’t respond fast enough and even took the stance that somehow, miraculously, they had beaten the virus. Of course, the ending was not pretty and the lack of vaccinations created a new variant – delta, which is now causing havoc across the world.
There we have it – among the two most populous countries that account for more than 2.8 billion people – we have one that is denying that they caused the pandemic in the first place and other, decided that they have beaten the virus and instead, created a new strain of the virus that is pummeling the world economy including the country that lives in the state of denial – China.
Future Wealth’s View
The question is who should be the regulator that hold these countries responsible? The WHO (World Health Organization) did nothing. The White House has done nothing and has lost all credibility since Trump perpetrated the “Big Lie”. By making lying acceptable, the precedent has been set for other countries to blatantly deny taking responsibility.
We mourn the deaths from 9/11, mass shootings and other disasters every year but the deaths from the pandemic have surpassed all the deaths from these other disasters combined. And yet, there is no consequence for those who created and spread this pandemic. Unfortunately, the precedent for future disasters is established when checks and balances disappear – Biological weapons – no problem, Nuclear waste release – look the other way, Chemical leak – deny it and the list will go on.
And who pays for all the vaccines caused by the pandemic? We, the taxpayers, are footing the bill for every vaccine shot that is supposedly given “free of charge”. The cost to the government – $39 for Pfizer’s each two dose regimen, $32 for Moderna’s vaccine, and $10 for J&J’s single shot. To provide relief to individuals and corporations from Covid (CARES Act), the Federal Government is expected to spend over $5 trillion. To cover this cost, the Treasury has been borrowing since March 2020 to cover those expenses.The United States budget deficit grew to a record $1.7 trillion in the six months since October, as the federal government continued to pump huge sums of money into the economy to help workers and businesses cope with the pandemic.
It is easy to ignore these facts when the stock markets are humming along hitting all time highs. An appropriate response would be to ban purchase of anything made in China much like a Boston Tea Party revolution. Of course, that is too much to ask. But, a few high profile investors and funds have taken up the cause of punishing China that has tried to put a wool over our eyes by avoiding all Chinese stocks. You should do it too.