China News Service, Washington, December 22, title: America 2020: the road to fight the epidemic is difficult to escape the "overtime" dilemma

  China News Agency reporter Chen Mengtong

  The United States has experienced the ongoing new crown epidemic in 2020, and both research reports and mainstream public opinion predict that the "worst moment" has not yet arrived.

  More than 18 million people were diagnosed and nearly 320,000 people died. The average number of newly diagnosed cases in 7 days exceeded 200,000.

The latest data shows that after three surges in April, July and December, the US epidemic has repeatedly fallen into an "overtime" dilemma, and there is still no sign of "peaking".

  Anti-epidemic with lost focus

  The United States entered a "national emergency" on March 13 due to the epidemic, when the number of confirmed cases just exceeded 2,000.

Although the number of infections has increased sharply since then, the US government announced the restart of the economy after 46 days of anti-epidemic measures, and the decision to fight the epidemic was left to the states.

  In May and June, when the “home order” was gradually lifted and businesses gradually resumed, American society fell into continuous controversy over the fight against the epidemic.

It is as small as whether people should wear masks when they go out. As large as the Congress bailout bill should give priority to enterprises or individuals.

The debate about whether to restart the economy has overshadowed the discussion about how to work together to contain the epidemic.

  With the arrival of the summer vacation, a second round of surges in the epidemic occurred in the United States, and the hot spots of the epidemic have also moved south from the "epicenter" of New York to Florida and Texas.

Until September, under the influence of factors such as the resumption of university classes and election rallies in the United States, the epidemic continued to increase exponentially.

At present, the concentrated outbreak of the epidemic has moved to the sparsely populated central and western regions.

  The Institute of Health Statistics and Evaluation of the University of Washington predicts that by April 1 next year, the cumulative number of deaths from new crowns in the United States may reach 562,000.

According to a November survey by the Pew Research Center, 71% of Americans believe that "the worst of the epidemic has yet to come," while 59% of those who hold this view in June.

  A lost economy

  It took about 100 days for the first "million" of confirmed cases in the United States, and 1 million people were diagnosed within 5 days in early December.

The number of unemployed people also increased sharply.

  In April of this year, anti-epidemic measures such as the “home order” and the closure of “non-essential” businesses caused severe damage to the US retail, leisure, and hotel industries. The unemployment rate soared to 14.7%, reaching the highest level since the Great Depression in the 1930s. .

  During the epidemic, the US government launched two rounds of large-scale economic stimulus packages of US$2.2 trillion and US$484 billion in a short period of time, but the funds used to support companies to tide over the difficulties quickly ran out.

Well-known companies such as J.Crew and Hertz Car Rental have declared bankruptcy.

  As the states tightened their anti-epidemic measures in December, the slow recovery of the US economy may lose momentum again.

Although the unemployment rate in the United States fell to 6.7% in November, the number of new jobs in the non-agricultural sector narrowed sharply from the previous month, indicating that the recovery of the job market is slowing.

  "The bizarre year the U.S. has experienced will leave behind the sequelae that hinder the normal recovery of the economy." The Wall Street Journal said when looking forward to the U.S. economy in 2021, "In any case, it will almost certainly not be what anyone predicts today."

  Reconstruction of missing peace of mind

  On the twists and turns of the U.S. anti-epidemic road, two diametrically opposed expectations have always mixed and pulled each other.

On one side is the optimistic expectation of the White House's continued release that the new crown vaccine will create a "medical miracle" and the United States will "return to normal in a short time"; on the other side is the "sober faction" represented by Democrat Biden, who described the epidemic It is a "dark winter," and said that the United States' anti-epidemic work is far from complete.

  "The new crown virus is reshaping the political landscape of the United States." The Associated Press commented that the new crown epidemic destroyed Trump's hope of seeking re-election in a strong economy and turned the general election into a vote of Americans on the president's performance in handling the epidemic crisis.

  Whether the transfer of power from the US government is smooth or not will further increase the uncertainty of the future epidemic in the US.

Under the original political tension within American society, the epidemic is no longer a pure public health crisis.

  Although two new crown vaccines have been approved for marketing in the United States, the winter of the epidemic continues.

For President-elect Biden, how to bridge the gap between the understanding of the virus and science in the hearts of the American people will be a major challenge beyond the fight against the epidemic.