The Global Impacts of the Coronavirus Outbreak
March 5, 2020
Caleb Diamond: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for calling into today. I’m Caleb, with the external relations team here at CSIS. Like all of you, we’ve been following the coronavirus outbreak very closely. But today I think we’d like to expand the conversation beyond the serious health concerns and look at the global consequences of the outbreak.
So with us today is Steve Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. He’ll cover the latest on the public health side, as well as the U.S. preparedness and global preparedness for a prolonged outbreak. Next up will be Stephanie Segal, senior fellow with the Simon Chair in Political Economy. She’ll talk about the global economic impacts as well as the policy response. She’ll be followed by Sarah Ladislaw, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program, who will share her thoughts on what we’ll see with energy markets, potential impacts on global emissions as well. Next will be Scott Kennedy, Trustee Chair in China Business and Economics, who will talk about the impacts on China’s economy, supply chains, potential U.S.-China trade as well. And last, and definitely not least, we’ll have Jude Blanchette, our Freeman Chair in China Studies, who will unpack China’s political response.
They will all deliver brief remarks, and then we’ll open it up for questions. And I think with that I’ll turn it over to Steve.
J. Stephen Morrison: Hi. Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us. This is Steve Morrison at CSIS. I’ll be very brief.
At the macro level, as of today 96,636 confirmed cases, earlier this morning, and just over 3,300 deaths. Eighty thousand of those cases are China. Still no declaration from WHO that this is – warrants being labeled a pandemic. The cases obviously that are – that are outside of China that are getting lots of attention are Korea, Iran, Italy, a few other places. Those numbers continue to rise and are fairly significant.
On the – on the global side, the important development recently was the World Bank passing a $12 billion measure, a package of assistance, blended financing. Very welcome. It was quick. It was announced yesterday by David Malpass at 9:00 a.m. We can talk a bit about that program. We’re hoping to profile that here in our next public session on this. The story itself obviously, as all of you know, the story’s become about everything, everywhere, all the time. The elasticity of this topic is quite amazing. For us, of course, the focus has shifted overwhelmingly to what is happening here within our borders. And I will say a few words about that.
On the domestic focus, the testing debacle has been a source of great discussion and debate as to how this happened and why. And it remains a very contentious issue, and a very confused one within America, as to who’s eligible for testing, how quickly will testing become available, for whom, where, and when. And it is – that debacle has, I believe, begun to directly damaged CDC’s reputation and standing. But it’s also contributed to the overall anxiety and skepticism around the quality of response as we move into this phase of accelerated transmission within the United States.
We’ve moved beyond the containment moment when we thought we could, through various containment measures, be successful at minimizing transmission within the United States into what is now – seems to be a very hybrid or mixed moment, in the opinion of – at least of the administration – in terms of still talking about containment, but also talking about those sorts of actions that are going to be needed at the – at the municipal, county, and state level in order to deal with the outbreaks that are unfolding which are now in many, many states. And testing is – remains one of those fundamental issues.
The $8.3 billion supplemental is – has moved through the House. We’re hoping it will move through the Senate and be signed out quickly. It was a welcome signal of bipartisanship and cooperation. It’s a – it’s a pretty good package, covers a number of different critical needs. It’s going to, I believe, give a lot of encouragement to those at the state, municipal, county level who are out on a limb, spending money and worried about how to put programs together on a crash basis, and who are – who have been very skeptical about what’s coming out of Washington. There’s been a lot of bipartisan tension about – a lot of partisan tension around the response. And the fact that you could get this kind of cooperation is, to me, encouraging.
The epidemic – I mean, the epicenter right now, Washington state. And a lot of – a lot of attention focused on what’s happening there. I expect we’ll see more of that – similar sort of situations begin to appear. As to how the administration’s organizing itself this week, Vice President Pence, who heads up the taskforce, has been out, very busy, assiduously meeting with all sorts of different sectors. He had meetings with the Republican – full Republican Caucus yesterday and brought his team with him. He has met with the labs, met with the pharmaceutical industry, the nursing home industry, the governors, the air travel industry – it’s very interesting, this sort of outreach and aggressive efforts in order to listen to them, but also serve up some messages like the nursing home industry is going to have to very much tighten up its control over infectious diseases and hygiene in their sector, but also trying to reassure people.
Deborah Birx has been added in as the coordinator under the vice president. There is still confusion around who is in charge, and there’s confusion and dissonance in the messaging between the president and the vice president on one level and the public health folks – whether they are Redfield, Fauci, Anne Schuchat, we now have Deborah Birx in as a coordinator, who brings her own credibility on this.
On vaccine development, one of the confusing issues has been, you know, what’s realistic, what’s the timeline for vaccines and for antivirals. On vaccines, I think the administration – certainly Fauci and others – have been adamant and repeatedly emphasized the best you can expect is one year to 18 months, and that is a very rosy and optimistic scenario. And there are many reasons to be very cautious in making that claim. But it’s certainly not going to be any sooner than that.
Antivirals – it’s possible we could get some in a shorter period of time for reasons that I can explain. There’s a very large slug of money in the supplemental to advance that. There are a number of candidates coming forward, a number of actors who are moving that forward, so that is moving forward on its own track.
But let’s be honest; in this next period, still very highly uncertain what we’re in, what kind of outbreak that we really are in. I think most of the expert epidemiologists have moved away from the idea that this is seasonal and going to turn down any time soon, although there is still hope of that happening. But I think from the epidemiologists the opinion has shifted to this is going to have a long tail, a true transmissibility. It is very contagious; it moves very quick. The modes of transmission we still don’t fully understand. What we really don’t understand very well is the true level of the case fatality rate and the extreme illness rate, but we have – there is very good reason to be very concerned, and to remain very vigilant and very concerned on this, and to prepare for the possibilities of this being – of this globalizing but also sweeping across our country.
I’ll stop there. Thank you.
Stephanie Segal: All right. This is Stephanie Segal. I’m going to talk a bit about the economic impacts and policy responses to date.
The outlook I think, as folks will have known, earlier this week we had the OECD come out and revise downward their outlook for global growth by .5 percentage points. In a way, their willingness to come out with a point estimate there is notable because others, including the IMF, has actually declined to give a point estimate. And I think that speaks to the uncertainty that Steve just mentioned. The fund has gone so far as to say that, under any scenario, global growth in the current year will drop below last year’s level of 2.9 percent, but given the uncertainty, there are still a lot of questions about how bad it could potentially get.
The response we’ve seen – G7 finance ministers came out with a statement on Tuesday essentially repeating the message that they will be closely monitoring the risk, reaffirming a commitment to use all appropriate policy tools, but then was pretty short in the way of specific actions. That statement was then followed up by the response that we’ve seen in other times of turbulence, which is to have the central bank move. The Fed, then following that G-7 statement, came out with the first emergency rate cut since the global financial crisis, notwithstanding the fact that they characterized the fundamentals of the U.S. economy as remaining strong. But they underscored the fact of the uncertainty, and that was a message that also came across in the Fed report that came out yesterday.
Along with the Fed cutting, I wouldn’t say necessarily that there has been a coordinated response from central banks, but all central banks are facing the same global shock, and so they’re leaning into policy all in the same direction. We had rate cuts from the Bank of Canada, from Australia’s central bank, Malaysia’s central bank. And there’s an expectation that the ECB, Bank of Japan, Bank of England, all will be moving in a similar direction when they next meet.
Steve mentioned already, as far as the response from the international financial institutions, the World Bank and the IMF both came out yesterday, the Bank announcing a $12 billion commitment in emergency funding. The Fund separately announced that it’s making available 50 billion (dollars) through its rapid-disbursing emergency-financing facility. So you’ve had the international institutions move quite quickly. Their message is very much one to focus on frontline health-related spending and on the most vulnerable countries, so getting out with a rapid response.
The question now is essentially what else. Steve mentioned the supplemental that’s moved through the House, providing upwards of 8 billion (dollars) to combat the coronavirus and agree wholeheartedly with the importance of moving there. I think it’s also important to recognize that that funding is preparedness funding. It’s not necessarily what we would think about as a fiscal stimulus in response to the anticipated growth slowdown. So that’s still very much an open question as far as what else on the fiscal front.
And then, just to return back to this theme of uncertainty, what we’re seeing markets in particular react to is just the sustained uncertainty and the fact that there isn’t really a baseline at this point. And I think we’re also seeing some uncertainty related to the adequacy of the policy response that Steve also mentioned. So I think what’s first and foremost in the way of priorities is coming out with a coherent response. I think that would go a long way in settling markets.
Sarah Ladislaw: Great. This is Sarah Ladislaw from the Energy and Climate Change Program. I’ll just go through a few of the ways that we’re seeing some of the things that both Stephen and Stephanie talked about in the energy markets and thinking a little bit about how it might affect near-term markets, but then longer-term policy decisions and some of the things that we’re paying attention to.
There’s predominantly, like, five key ways that we’re seeing the coronavirus have an impact on the markets so far. And I would say a lot of it has to do with the knock-on effects of a very large consuming country like China having a slowdown and less so on the material impacts of the broader potential for economic disruption in some of the worst-case scenarios that Steve Morrison was outlining a bit earlier.
So this looks to be starting to factor into the way that people are positioning in some of these different markets, based on their view of how much this is going to spread. By way of concrete example, if the United States were to start taking dramatic action to constrict people’s behavior in a material way, that would have a very big impact on most every area of energy markets as well.
So far, so we’ve seen this economic downturn put additional pressure on oil markets, leading to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting economies yesterday coming out with a very bullish suggestion to cut oil supply to the market by an additional 1.5 million barrels a day through the end of the second quarter and to extend their already 2.1 million-barrel-a-day cut to the end of the year, beyond that time period. And they would decide in June whether or not they needed to sustain that higher cut level in order to bolster oil prices.
What’s interesting about this is that the market barely moved at that response, right. So that did not elicit a significant price response. Part of that is because they have not been able to secure an agreement with Russia, which is now a key component of this OPEC-plus arrangement to agree that the 1 million barrel a day of that additional cut would come from the traditional OPEC economies, largely Saudi Arabia, and 500,000 barrels a day if the additional cut would come from Russia.
The Russians have sort of balked at the suggestion that a cut of this magnitude is in order. And so there looks to be the potential for some sort of a standoff or an impasse between Russia and Saudi Arabia on this point within the next day or so as they try to hash out an agreement.
I think, you know, the context here is, obviously, that the markets don’t seem to care very much and that just means that the sentiment continues to be to the downside here. People really think we’re going to see a significant decline relative to expectations in oil demand growth. In fact, several analysts have come out saying this could be the first time since the great recession that we’d see an oil price demand decline over the course of the year as opposed to an increase and, largely, the first – it would be the first in a decade but also one of maybe three times that has occurred over the last several decades.
In terms of natural gas pricing, we’re seeing spot prices down in the U.S. by about 22 percent, in Europe by almost 30 percent, in Asia down by 44 percent, and stocks in all of those markets increasing, which will add further downward pressure in natural gas markets in a year where oversupply of natural gas was supposed to be quite high anyway. So we’re already seeing responses to this in terms of delayed cargoes, people trying to renegotiate contracts.
This is a really big deal, particularly for gas companies who are looking to sign and think about additional new deals, going forward, but, clearly, having a big impact on Asian markets where gas markets are – gas prices are continually linked in a way that’s going to make coal a bigger option for them in terms of thinking about their electric power choices in the near term.
In the China front, lots of focus, clearly, on emissions reductions, which have, you know, been estimated to fall by about 25 percent. This is not a great news story because of the economic downturn that caused it. There’s nobody in the climate world who wants to see economic downturn as the cause of emissions reduction. That’s not a really good narrative. Lots of speculation about how this will affect what was already a dampening sentiment for China to do more in terms of taking concrete emissions reduction and climate change action relative to their economic outlook.
And so I think that there’s a lot of concern that even – China was on track to meet its emissions reduction targets in the near term but the status of the negotiations was really to have China coming into the end of the year with more ambitious objectives to sort of lead the world and trying to think about reducing emissions for the purposes of dealing with climate change more. I think that that conversation is going to be increasingly difficult as China eventually tries to look to get its growth back on track.
And then, finally, thinking about supply chain disruptions in the energy industry, we talked a little bit about that in oil and gas already where markets have been significantly disrupted. It’s including – it’s additionally true in things like the clean energy market, particularly in China, which is one of the largest countries for thinking about battery and wind and solar installations because of how aggressive they are in terms of their policies there.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance had a 10 percent reduction in their battery production forecast for China, some smaller dips for wind and solar installations in the Chinese domestic market, and then we’re starting to see sort of project delays that count on supply chains that link to China in global, solar, and wind and battery markets as well.
Again, many people think that, you know, that can be something that will be overcome as China continues or gets back to sort of ramping up production. I think the issue is, you know, this is happening in the context of a time when companies are trying to think about diversifying their supply chains away from China in the context of trade and tariff wars and other things.
And so how long this all lasts, I think, the question for us is, you know, what kind of permanent changes, because you start to see just out of practice depending on the trajectory of the ultimate sort of virus over time. I think the big question for us, particularly if you do see a time at which we can see a – even if the coronavirus spread becomes worse before it becomes better, during the time in which we can see sort of things become better, people are talking a lot now about stimulative efforts – what will stimulative efforts look like.
The energy sector is often targeted both for infrastructure and investments funding in a stimulus context and there’s a lot of current positioning to try and think about, particularly in the climate community, how do you make that stimulus green, how do you make sure that it doesn’t sort of set us back in terms of the emissions trajectory, going forward.
So lots to unpack in the energy and climate world. I’m going to stop there and turn it over to Scott.
Scott Kennedy: Thanks, Sarah. Good afternoon, everybody. This is Scott Kennedy, Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics.
I think it’s important to let folks know, I’m not a virologist. I don’t play one on TV, radio, or in phone calls with the media. I really just work on China’s economy and will leave Steve Morrison to make the medical judgements and public health ones. And at the end of the day this is really a public health science issue, and we’re all just sort of watching what the consequences of that are.
Couple points on China’s domestic economy, and then on the phase one deal. In Q1 2020, China will have negative growth. That is guaranteed. I think folks were underestimating the consequences of the virus outbreak from the beginning in late January. But there were so many individual signs of slowdown from companies shutting their doors for a while, no school, no travel on planes, airplanes, going to restaurants, movies, and then last Friday’s release of Chinese data. The PMI numbers were down further than they’ve ever been before. And so I think the drop to Chinese growth is huge, and anyone who’s going to argue that China’s economy grew in the first quarter I think is not going to have any credibility.
The recovery is also not going to be a V-shaped recovery, where growth rises rapidly simply because the Chinese government is putting a lot of stimulus and ordering folks back to work. People are not going back to work immediately. Either intentionally, because their localities aren’t allowing them, or because of nerves. And in addition to that, even if you do start – you can produce double the widgets and run two shifts or three shifts making widgets, but you can’t get folks to watch three movies a day, eat six meals a day. So consumption of services just can’t rise that quickly. And that accounts for half of China’s economy now.
In addition, you have massive intervention by the Chinese state to deal with this emergency – state, party, military. And that intervention is not going to recede the way a wave recedes from the shore and very quickly. And that only means a big effect on productivity. You’ve seen reports that companies have been required to report fake electricity usage numbers to make it look like the economy is growing. I think the best evidence is just simply looking – using your satellite imagery to look at pollution. And when there’s more pollution, the economy will be up and running. But that’s not going to be for a while.
I guess the thing that I’m looking for with the economy, beyond the immediate response, is how is this going to affect China’s next five-year plan, the 14th five-year plan? They’re at the end of the 13th. To what extent are they willing to lean forward, to try to address a lot of the weaknesses inherent in the economy, that has forced productivity to become an insignificant contributor to growth? Are they willing to liberalize? The sign so far is no, that they’re going in the opposite direction. And so we will know in a few months when they start really talking about the next phase of their economic plans.
Second point, on U.S.-China economic relations, and just the phase one deal, and really just – there’s a lot of components of that deal. And the regulatory changes to Chinese intellectual property rights, nontariff barriers, with – in agriculture, et cetera, we ought to see – those probably are going to continue to be implemented on schedule. The Chinese have made adjustments to their tariff schedule to increase imports in certain areas, but I think the likelihood of China meeting the specific targets in the phase one deal with regard to purchases and increasing their imports from the United States by 76 billion (dollars) this year is somewhere between zero and zero.
These were unrealistic targets to begin with. In fact, they weren’t just unrealistic. They were unreal. And we’re issuing a piece on Monday that describes the unreality of those original commitments. But as everyone has already said, Chinese consumption has fallen significantly. And China is not going to be expanding consumption so quickly that they can increase American exports – or, imports from the United States by $70-some billion. And so it would be even surprising if China met its imports from the United States of last year of about 130 billion (dollars).
Last point, does this encourage further decoupling? In some ways it does. Certainly companies now have to focus not on maximizing efficiency, but on minimizing risk. But that is not just a U.S.-China story. That’s a globalization story. And so originally the question was, could you move your factory from China to India, or to someplace else? But everywhere has risk. And so companies have to actually fundamentally reconsider what it means to have a global supply chain. And China, in some ways, actually may be better prepared to manage some of the risks that they have, despite the fact that it was the source of the virus to begin with. I’ll stop there.
Jude Blanchette: Thanks, Scott. This is Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies here at CSIS.
I’m going to pick up from some of the remarks Scott just made, and talk about some of the political dynamics at play in China as the coronavirus looks to be under control, in the sense that the spread has been isolated to primarily Hubei province, where 96 percent of the cases are, and within Hubei province the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated, where 70 percent of the nationwide cases are.
Picking up on the economic issue, because obviously in China the economic issue is fundamentally a political issue, at a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee yesterday – this is the apex decision-making body within China that meets weekly but, up until the outbreak of the coronavirus and when China’s system kicked into gear in January 20th, they typically don’t – they typically don’t announce that they’ve met with a full readout, which they’ve done five times since January.
At this most recent meeting yesterday, presided over by Xi Jinping, they highlighted that this is really now an economic stabilization problem that they’re dealing with. That they feel that the coronavirus is more or less under control, but really the crucial task now for the entire party-state is to stabilize employment and to restart the economy. I won’t reemphasize what Scott just mentioned on some of the difficulties of this.
I will say, though, that this is a particularly difficult political year for Chinese leader Xi Jinping as he tries to restart the economy, because this is end of one of the – what are called the 200-year goals. This hundred-year goal, which ends in next year, 2021, but the conclusion of it should be this year, look to double per capital GDP in China from 2010 levels, which would have required this year – economic growth this year to come in at around 6 percent, which is what the soft growth target was, as announced last year.
It's unclear if they’re going to soften up on that target, but as Scott mentioned there’s absolutely no way they’re going to be able to hit that with any degree of reality this year. So one of the things we’ll be watching for is when they do finally announce the growth target how much are they going to come down, and what does that mean politically for Xi Jinping, given that he has been emphasizing the importance of hitting this poverty alleviation target, which is one of his significant political priorities.
I should say, a few weeks ago an economic advisor in Beijing did say that they would be considering adjustments to the growth target. So I suspect when the Q1 numbers come in, at the levels that Scott mentioned, this will – this will force a reckoning within the party about what their realistic goals are for this year.
Second point is, we’re still watching for a date from the postponed National People’s Congress. That was postponed a couple weeks ago. It would have taken place starting in a few days. This is the annual conclave of the Chinese government. This is when they approve the annual budget. This is when they approve the annual government work report. The cancellation, per se, doesn’t throw the entire system out of whack. The meeting is not that important. But China’s political calendar really sticks to these cadences of meetings. And so it does send a ripple of some uncertainty throughout the system.
I should say at this point the most important thing about when they finally do select a date for the National People’s Congress will be that it signals they feel fundamentally the domestic situation vis-à-vis the coronavirus is absolutely under control and they’re both going to risk the optics of bringing a few thousand people to Beijing and they’re not worried about a contagion vector there.
Final point I want to make is on an issue that I hear quite a lot about, which is how the coronavirus has threatened or not the political position of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The case for why this has threatened him is natural enough. This is a leader who has consolidated extraordinary amounts of power precisely because he has – his value proposition is that he will be able to fix China’s governance system to be able to deal with black-swan events like the one we’re dealing with now and other challenges China is facing.
Clearly this is – China’s ham-fisted response to the coronavirus in the first couple of months is a stinging rebuke to Xi Jinping’s system of governance. But I think the likely outcome of the coronavirus is not only Xi Jinping remains in power, but that the Communist Party emerges bigger and stronger, which is a cyclical and structural feature of crises internationally that the state expands to deal with the crisis and then remains at a new expanded level even after the crisis fades away.
So I think it’s very unlikely that there’s any significant or over-political challenge to Xi Jinping. And, in fact, I think where we should be spending most of our time looking is what will the new shape of the party state look like in response to or as a result of its actions to deal with the coronavirus.
And that’s it for me.
Caleb Diamond: Thanks, everyone. And I think with that we’ll open it up for questions.
Operator: (Gives queuing instructions.)
And one moment. Brett Samuels from The Hill, please go ahead.
Q: Yeah. Thanks, everyone, for doing this call.
A few of you talked about the uncertainty in the U.S. on a number of levels which resulted from the virus. I was curious, you know, what do you guys think the administration, the Trump administration, can do to ease some of that uncertainty? Is it to give experts like Deborah Birx more of a platform? Or how would you suggest they, you know, try to cut through some of the uncertainty and reassure the public?
J. Stephen Morrison: Hi, Brett. This is Steve Morrison.
You know, we are heading into a period here domestically that’s going to be very turbulent. And we’re – you know, we’re going to see more evidence and proof of the virus. As testing expands and as there’s more outbreaks, we’re going to see the expansion programs. We’re going to see a call for more social distancing – schools, businesses, sports, churches. It’s going to be very disruptive. We’re going to see acute vulnerabilities in places like nursing facilities and the like, and we’re going to see people flooding our health facilities, the worried well and others. And there’s going to be increased fear and frustration and a blame game.
And we’ve already seen how we can drift in and out of toxic partisanship and politicization of this, and it’s only going to increase in the course of the primaries. We’re in this electoral cycle right now.
So your question around what can be done by the administration – what the administration can do is have a coherent, consistent set of messages that are based on good public-health science and which appeal to people’s common sense, speak very clearly and honestly to what we know and what we don’t know, what tools we have and don’t have, what the phase is that we’re entering, which is an uncertain and turbulent phase, and emphasize the up side in terms of we’ve got new resources coming forward. We’re going to be expanding testing and the like.
We need to have, as I said, a sort of unitary core message. So your point about Deborah Birx, Deborah Birx is – this isn’t her field per se. She’s – her career has been grounded in international work around HIV/AIDS. She comes from a military-medicine background. She’s very revered, very well respected. She has great aptitudes as a scientist, as a research scientist, as someone who can make intelligible the complicated issues around the science and the – and the disease itself. But she’s also someone who’s accustomed to organizing large and very complicated U.S. programs around infectious diseases, in this case HIV. So I think giving her a platform and authority to speak will be very good. I think open communications and access to the media of those that are – that can speak competently to the guidance – the CDC guidance – I think CDC’s guidance remains very important. It’s evolving quite rapidly to take account of these situations and remain sort of a central feature of this.
So leadership is going to be very important. It’s an open question as to whether the American public have sufficient trust and confidence in the White House at this particular moment. And this turbulent period’s going to – going to stress that even more so. So the argument should be that now’s the time to strengthen the leadership at the highest levels around a single set of coherent and consistent messages to the American people that make sense.
Stephanie Segal: If I can just add onto that, the point, I think there is a tension that’s been evident between the public health response and then the economic impacts of that response, recognizing the fact that some of the measures that would be taken in the name of public health in the very near term could depress economic growth. But I think – and this is – I referenced the response from the World Bank in particular, but essentially prioritizing public health and making sure that that is the lead message. And then I think that actually does a lot as far as starting to restore confidence and addressing some of the uncertainty, which I think does end up undermining the prospects for – or the sense of uncertainty and kind of the prospects for the response.
So it’s prioritizing the public health response and then, to Steve’s point, I think allowing the experts to be the voice and having transparency behind the data. Again, I think those things actually address some of the uncertainty that actually increases volatility and makes people even more concerned about what the ultimate downsides could be, both health and economic.
J. Stephen Morrison: If I may add to what Stephanie said, this is not – this is not unlike what China faces in the sense that there are going to be economic dislocations and interruptions experienced in America in which authorities are going to have to balance out the degree to which they can preserve economic – protect and sustain economic activity without stoking infections at the same time. And that’s going to be a complicated risk calculation by any number of folks about what goes forward and what does not go forward.
We’ve already seen – in Europe, where you have much higher numbers, we’ve already seen pretty sweeping and pervasive steps taken that are interrupting schools and businesses and sporting – suspending international conferences and sporting events and the like. The system here is a more patchwork set of interruptions up to now. And some things are going forward without regard for whether it – whether it’s really going to have complications for the public health response. So that’s one issue, which is the kind of complicated risk calculation.
There’s also going to be the appeal for not just making sure that the public health side of this is financed, but also that there be stimulus or recovery or compensation for those that are more vulnerable in the economic sector, in the business sector, who are going to be looking for stimulus and an ability to stay afloat in this particular period.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
(Gives queuing instructions.)
Caleb Diamond: It looks like those are all the questions we have. So thanks for joining us today. I’ll send out a transcript to you all shortly, and please reach out to us if you’d like to set up a one-on-one interview. We’d be happy to work with you all. So thanks for joining.