APB’s Mark Blyth Believes COVID-19 is Making the U.S. Vulnerable
01 Apr 2020
COVID-19 has put a halt to the world and is affecting the economy as well as the healthcare system. Political economist Mark Blyth uses his experience to break down and clarify complex issues, such as the coronavirus, which, in his words, is making the U.S. vulnerable. With a keen eye on Asian, European and North American economies and markets, master forecaster Mark Blyth examines the key variables, risks, opportunities and overall political and economic impact of COVID-19.
Blyth discusses in Foreign Affairs that there are two competing epidemiological models which guide and divide expert opinion on how to respond to COVID-19. He says the first model, from Imperial College London, states “It predicted that if left unchecked, COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, could kill over half a million people in the United Kingdom and 2.2 million in the United States—not counting the many additional deaths caused by the collapse of each country’s healthcare system.” The second model, developed by researchers at Oxford University, states that the virus already infected around 40% of the British population and that the symptoms are mild, but that COVID-19 will still cause many deaths and stress healthcare systems.
However, for the U.S., Blyth uses the growth model to explain the advantages the country has during this time. Blyth says, “The U.S. growth model works well as long as there is little unemployment, wages are being earned and spent, and credit is being recycled to cover the difference between wages and costs by consumers and companies. But when markets freeze and cannot price assets correctly (…) the growth model collapses.” Blyth shares that whichever model the U.S. takes to fight COVID-19, there will be both positive and negative outcomes, no matter what. Widely known for his insightful thoughts on the interconnected impacts of global politics, economics and markets, Blyth intertwines critical knowledge and insight while making complex subject matter understandable and entertaining.