THE US coronavirus epidemic surpassed two million infections on Wednesday while health officials said that many new infections are likely as a result of the Trump drive to end the lockdown and ignite the US economy with all 50 states reopening.
2,003,038 people were infected in the US by Wednesday night, with new infections rising – total US coronavirus-related deaths have reached 115,000, the most in the world.
The number of cases is expected to spiral upwards as Trump seeks to drive the economy forward in the months up to the November presidential election with a Fed policy of spend, spend, spend.
The ongoing US coronavirus crisis and the massive jobs crisis have sharpened the class struggle, with Trump considering sending in the army, and with Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, warning that the Covid-19 crisis has had a worsening impact on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States and a range of other countries including Britain.
The US coronavirus death toll is expected to reach 200,000 by September, up from the current 115,000. Several US states have seen coronavirus cases jump in recent days amid warnings that authorities are ending all restrictions. New Mexico, Utah and Arizona each saw its number of cases rise by 40% for the week ended Sunday. Florida and Arkansas are other hot spots.
Meanwhile, the head of America’s central bank has pledged to continue support for the US economy for ‘as long as it takes’. Warning that the US faces a ‘long road’ to recovery, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the bank would keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future, until the end of 2022.
‘This is going to take some time,’ Powell said.
In December, Fed policymakers said they expected the US economy to grow by about 2% this year and the unemployment rate to remain around 3.5%. But the pandemic has dramatically rewritten that outlook, prompting the loss of more than 20 million jobs in March and April alone, leaving the USA with 40 million unemployed.
The OECD on Wednesday said the pandemic had triggered the most severe recession in a century and warned that the global economy could contract 7.6% this year should a second outbreak hit. Predictions released by the Fed on Wednesday show policymakers expect the US economy to shrink 6.5% this year.
The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates toward zero at the onset of the pandemic and has pledged to maintain low rates until the economy is back on track. It has pumped trillions of dollars into the financial system, buying up US Treasuries and other assets to encourage banks to keep lending and prevent a market collapse.
It has also stepped in with new programmes to lend to small and medium-sized firms and buy corporate and municipal debt. The swift action has won widespread praise in Washington. In a hearing about the pandemic response on Wednesday, Republican Senator John Kennedy called Powell a ‘rock star’.
Neil Birrell, chief investment officer at Premier Miton, said the Fed’s statement on Wednesday was ‘affirmation of central banks everywhere doing what they need to do’. Analysts credit the Fed’s aggressive no-spending-limit response with helping to drive a ‘surprise’ rally in financial markets.
Powell on Wednesday said financial conditions had improved thanks to the Fed’s efforts to keep markets from freezing up. He defended the bank’s plan to continue asset purchases at the current levels, despite criticisms that such moves primarily help wealthy investors. ‘We don’t take those gains for granted,’ Powell said.
The plan is to try to put Trump back into the presidency in November on the basis of a mountain of spending and debt. Then when the economy crashes, Trump will have to take on the masses of the working class, the unemployed and the poor.
There is no doubt that the police killing of George Floyd and the clash that followed between the state forces and the US working class was an anticipation of the huge clash that will take place when the US economy and its mountain of debt completely collapse, either before or after the Presidential election, no matter whether Trump or Biden is president.
There is no doubt that what is on hand in the USA is the American socialist revolution.
What the US working class, the most powerful working class in the capitalist world, requires is a revolutionary leadership to lead its struggle.
Now is the time for the building of a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in the USA that will lead the American socialist revolution to its victory and spell the end for the capitalist system throughout the world.