On Tuesday afternoon, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Donald Trump over the phone. According to those familiar with the call, they primarily discussed COVID-19. The two leaders agreed to a concerted US and UK effort to combat the spread of the disease. Both leaders have been roundly criticized in their countries for their response to the novel coronavirus.
Johnson is still recovering from his bout with the respiratory illness. The disease very nearly killed the PM, as he needed to go to the ICU for treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery now. According to reports from the UK government, Johnson is recovering in the PM’s property, “Chequers.” During his convalescence, foreign minister Dominic Raab is filling in as temporary PM.
As the US continues to battle the disease, it has rapidly become one of the leading causes of death in the country. The only thing beating COVID in deaths, currently, is heart disease. While strokes caused by AFib and heart attacks continue to claim lives, that’s a scary statistic. COVID is currently more likely to kill people than cancer or automobile accidents.
While the medical impacts of the disease have been devastating, the economy of the US is reeling as well. Shutdowns are in effect in most US states still, which is squeezing most local economies. All “non-essential” businesses are closed to slow the spread of the disease. This has led to historically low consumer spending, which is normally the cornerstone of the American economy.
Some Southern states are gradually reopening their stores, however. Georgia and South Carolina, in particular, are allowing many businesses to open their doors. This has been done out of fears that extended lockdown measures could tank their regional economies.
Johnson and Trump, who have been compared both favorably and unfavorably by pundits, have decided to coordinate their responses. The US has been hit the hardest of any country by the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City, in particular, has become the new epicenter for the virus. People in New York and elsewhere have largely criticized Trump’s response.
Governor Cuomo of New York has announced plans to work with several other New England states on reopening their economies. The virus has severely impacted the region both medically and economically. It is unlikely that the northeast US will be able to swiftly recover from the disease’s impact.