How The Coronavirus Could Destabilize The Chinese Government And World, by Willis L. Krumholz and Robert Delahunty

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A villager behind a protective wall in a village in the Chinese province Hubei. Sky News

We can only hope this coronavirus crisis shall pass. But if it does not, the consequences for both China and the rest of the world could be momentous.

By Willis L. Krumholz and Robert Delahunty, The Federalist, Jan. 28, 2020

The first case of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, was reported Dec. 8. Since then, many have begun to wonder, “Is this the Big One?” Obviously, it is too soon to say. But if the virus continues to spread rapidly, the implications for international security and for the global economy could be staggering, ad not only in terms of global public health.

The virus is spreading easily between humans and currently has a basic reproduction number of about 3.5 to 5.5, meaning each infected person is spreading the virus to at least three other people. The World Health Organization, however, currently thinks the reproduction number is between 1.4. to 2.5, or each infected person is spreading the virus to two other people. That’s because the virus can lie dormant for days and may be mutating to spread more easily. In truth, nobody knows right now exactly how damaging the virus will be.

As we write, there have been almost 100 deaths and well more than 2,000 infections. The cases are concentrated on mainland China, but the virus may take hold outside China — already, there are five confirmed cases in the United States and several more in France, Japan, Australia, and southeast Asia. ….

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