The World Health Organization says the novel coronavirus may never be wiped out in the world.
It insists that a vaccine could only allow countries and economies to fully re-open from lockdowns and potentially earn millions of dollars for its creators.
“This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away,” said Michael Ryan, the global health body’s emergencies director in Geneva.
“HIV has not gone away — but we have come to terms with the virus.”
The prospect of the disease hanging around leaves governments across the world facing a delicate balancing act between suppressing the pathogen and getting economies up and running.
Trump has been pushing for a swift resumption of economic activity in the US, often against the advice of health officials, as he tries to jumpstart the world’s largest economy before a November election.
Top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci has said re-opening too soon risks triggering uncontrollable outbreaks, but the president Wednesday dismissed that call for caution as “not acceptable”.
In an excerpt of an interview with Fox Business to air in full on Thursday, Trump said: “I totally disagree with him on schools.”
The tensions between health and the economy were thrown into sharp relief Wednesday when Federal Reserve chief Jay Powell warned of a potential “wave of bankruptcies” that could cause lasting harm.
Further signs of the damage to businesses emerged Thursday when Lloyd’s of London forecast the pandemic will cost the global insurance industry about $203 billion.
And Australia released figures showing almost 600,000 people lost their jobs as the country’s virus shutdown took hold in April, the steepest monthly drop in employment since records began more than 40 years ago.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the number “terribly shocking”.
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