APCO Worldwide's Coronavirus Beat is a twice weekly publication on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, economies, policy and culture, and how leaders are responding. The next newsletter will appear Monday, April 27.
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Business & Economic Impact
1. The International Olympics Committee and Japan are at odds over who will pay for costs associated with postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to next year, NPR
2.Another 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment, increasing the total to 26.5 million since the pandemic began and erasing all job growth since the 2008 recession, The Washington Post 3. Netflix added more subscribers in Q1 2020 than during any other quarter in its history, driven by stay-at-home orders and lockdowns around the world, Vox
1. French President Emmanuel Macron is thinking about a major government reshuffle in order to set up a government of national unity, Le Monde
2.European Commission officials are preparing a €2 trillion recovery plan, to be financed through the next EU budget and a recovery instrument to raise money on capital markets, POLITICO 3.The UN approved a resolution calling for global action to scale up development, manufacturing and access to medicine, vaccines and medical equipment, The Washington Post
1. Singapore to extend partial ‘circuit-breaker’ by four weeks until June 1, against the backdrop of a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, South China Morning Post
2.President Donald Trump said he plans to issue an executive order to temporarily halt the issuance of green cards for 60 days, The New York Times
3.All German states have announced plans for the mandatory use of face masks in public,BBC
1. The World Food Programme warned millions could face widespread famine due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Guardian
2.The UK Parliament conducted their first hybrid session with few technical glitches, allowing up to 120 MPs to participate in proceedings via Zoom, The Washington Post 3.India is temporarily suspending coronavirus antibody testing because of concerns over accuracy, Reuters
APCO is tracking Americans’ attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19. The latestinstallment, from polling conducted from April 16-17, 2020, looks at Americans’ attitudes and behaviors related to technology:
With a global economic recession and social/physical distancing becoming a way of life, tourism destinations will need to be more competitive than ever. Fear of crowded spaces, flight travel, health insurance consideration, repatriation policies and costs will define decisions made by tourists when considering a vacation destination. On Tuesday, April 28 from 12:00pm-1:00pm ET, you are invited to join a conversation about how cities and locations need to think about tourism in a post-COVID-19 environment. RSVP here.
Watch the April 23 webinar APCO hosted in partnership with GenM on the implications of COVID-19 on Latin America as the region begins to think of its recovery, revival, and long term mitigation strategies in an unknown “new normal.”
GERMANY: FROM RELIEF MEASURES TO STIMULUS
APCO colleagues are sharing on-the-ground insights and analysis on the impact of COVID-19 in markets around the world. Today’s dispatch from APCO’s Berlin office highlights the debate over Germany’s economic recovery efforts.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, Germany has set up extensive ad hoc economic relief measures for companies and employees with the aim of preventing layoffs and ensuring that businesses can continue to operate. The Federal Government's “protective shield,” implemented in mid-March, consists of four pillars: a) aid measures for employees / short-time work, b) economic stabilization fund with liquidity programs, c) measures for small businesses, self-employed and freelancers, and d) tax-related liquidity assistance for businesses. Some of these measures will be expanded further in the coming weeks.
As Germany begins to cautiously ease lockdown measures following a (preliminary) slowdown of the virus’ spread, the focus shifts to setting up an economic stimulus package to get the economy back on track in the long run. Germany hopes to repeat the unparalleled economic boost that followed the financial crisis in 2008/2009. Unsurprisingly, political parties, think tanks, NGOs and industry representatives are starting to voice their claims for how the economy should be re-shaped. Car manufacturers call for a new edition of the “scrappage premium,” an incentive for consumers to replace their old cars. While this policy contributed greatly to immediate economic recovery in 2009, it faces increasing opposition from environmental organizations and political leaders, who instead propose incentivizing only sustainable and climate-friendly technologies. VAT reductions, which were already introduced for the restaurant sector, could potentially be applied more broadly as a buying incentive. Germany is currently at a crossroads, leading to an intense lobbying battle. The upcoming weeks will be crucial to determine which shape economic recovery in Germany will take.
Some Positive News
Climate Consciousness: Pollution and greenhouse gas levels have dramatically fallen worldwide, as people appreciate on social media the drop in pollution and wildlife as inspiration for future action, Quartz
WWII Veteran Raises £27 million: Tom Moore, a 99-year-old World War Two veteran has now raised more than £27 million for the NHS, surpassing his initial goal of £1,000,The Guardian
Rare Sea Turtle Population Growing: Thailand discovered the largest nest of a rare sea turtle population due to lack of tourists and beach closures,The Independent
Managing the parents on your team requires flexibility, support, Bloomberg
“Scientists tell us that as we destroy nature, habitats and the natural barriers between humans and wildlife – we will only see more and more zoonotic diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Tom Udall, United States Senator
“Once the pandemic is over, a more profound rethinking of decisionmaking—in public policy, business, and civil society—is called for...decisionmakers will need to supplement the current focus on economic efficiency with greater emphasis on economic resilience."
- Dennis J. Snower, nonresident senior fellow, Brookings Institution
The APCO team is working with clients globally to manage this crisis, and we stand ready to support your needs. For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus.
About Coronavirus Beat
Coronavirus Beat is a bulletin of updates and clippings from the most relevant media and government sources created to help APCO’s clients keep abreast of the impacts of COVID-19 from around the world. APCO is supporting clients in managing the issues they confront related to the outbreak. Contact our crisis team at Crisis360@apcoworldwide.com or +1.866.360.APCO (toll-free) or +1.866.483.2726 (outside the United States).
APCO Worldwide is an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy helping leading public and private sector organizations act with agility, and build organizational reputations, brands, relationships and solutions to succeed. APCO has offices in more than 30 major cities throughout the world. To find out how APCO’s integrated services can help your company, visit apcoworldwide.com.