Trump, the Coronavirus, and the World Economy
Sudha David-Wilp, deputy director of GMF’s Berlin office, joined the Maybrit Illner talk show on public broadcaster ZDF. Together with German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, German MP from Die Linke Sahra Wagenknecht and infectious disease expert Hendrik Streeck, David-Wilp debated how Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis in the United States affects Germany’s own economic recovery.
In the United States, the government’s response to the virus has become very politicized, with devastating effects for the country. “Wearing masks is a political issue in the United States. It is difficult to contain this virus when the president is trying to distract attention from the pandemic,” said David-Wilp.
The downturn of the U.S. economy is partly cushioned by the gains of global tech players, some of which have benefitted from the coronavirus crisis. According to David-Wilp, the United States has “significant innovative capacity in the Silicon Valley. These firms are trying to make profits. Luckily, they are part of a free-market economy,” she argued.
The crisis has also soured relations between the United States and some European states, not least due to Trump’s buying up of global COVID-19 drug supplies. David-Wilp noted that “the U.S. government must do everything to protect its citizens. But the crisis has shown that ‘America First’ doesn’t work in a pandemic, because the U.S. is so interconnected on the global level.”