In certain places, the COVID-19-vaccine effort has hit a few speed bumps; stockpiles have accumulated, and deployment to vulnerable countries and at-risk groups has been slower than expected. Nonetheless, experts have expressed confidence that safe and highly efficacious vaccines are reaching the market, and we are beginning to see “the light at the end of the tunnel” of this devastating pandemic. The epidemiological end to the COVID-19 pandemic seemed like an optimistic dream a few short months ago, but, with the development, approval, and rollout of several vaccines, it is now practically realizable in much of the world.
To arrive at the postpandemic era, in which populations experience herd immunity, vast numbers of dedicated individuals will need to continue working intensely in the months and years ahead.
With all the many issues and delays, it is safe to assume we are less confident about reaching herd immunity in Q3 of 2021.
Source: McKinsey & Co.
American debt to exceed GDP in 2021
The United States is projected to hold about $21 trillion in debt in 2021, and that number is expected to increase to $32 trillion by 2030. A $1.9 trillion stimulus bill represents a fraction of that increase, although White House officials have also discussed trying to approve a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure package later this year. The CBO projections also assume the expiration of numerous provisions of the 2017 GOP tax law aimed at the lower and middle class by the middle of this decade.
Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which pushes for deficit reduction, said lawmakers face a long-term challenge in getting spending and deficit levels to balance. That is not something that hinges on the precise size of Biden’s stimulus package, Goldwein said.
“Even without the $1.9 trillion [stimulus], we will be at record-high debt levels” in a few years, he said. “Realistically, it’s going to come much sooner than that.”
Source: Washington Post