COVID-19 has devolved America back into the Wild West, with accusations of ‘mask piracy’ (1), interception and confiscation of trade goods (2), blockage of essential exports (3), and direct cash payments that blur the line between commerce and bribery (4). They have also been reported trying to relocate German researchers to the US for a possible vaccine (5).
The US’ at-home response to the outbreak is considered excessively heavy-handed, with healthcare workers prohibited from speaking to the media (6) and navy commanders removed from duty for speaking out (7). While social media is increasingly turning into a tool of governmental control (8), mainstream media is finding itself out of favour with the American public (9) as anger mounts at continued restrictions (10)
The US has been quick to deny all accusations (11), with politicians looking to shift blame to China for badly handling their initial lockdown (12), and away from the crippling economic repercussions that has seen unemployment skyrocket (13) and record lines at food banks (14) which has led to fears of coming rations (15) and an additional USD 10 trillion added to the national debt (16).
Governmental authorities have been utilising the crisis to expand governmental powers (17), impose massive surveillance programs (18) and increase executive powers (19), all in the name of saving lives. The dystopian outlook is exasperating an economy already struggling to not go down the slippery slope of empire collapse (20).
Politicians have moved swiftly to sign in further bailouts and stimulus packages108 despite the well-known side effects of over-inflated asset prices (21) and rapidly expanding bank balance sheets (22). Further stimulus might be greasing the slope rather than putting the brakes on it (23)
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