The World In A Week – The Year Of The Rat

An eventful week that saw the continued spread of the Coronavirus in China, the opening arguments of Trump’s impeachment trial and the 51st World Economic Forum in Davos.

The World Health Organisation have called for emergency action in China following 830 confirmed cases with 41 deaths reported so far. The Chinese city of Wuhan, home to some 11 million people has been inundated with new patients seeking treatment. A completely new hospital is set to be completed in the next 6 days and will house 1000 beds. This follows similar action taken in 2003 following the SARS virus outbreak. The timing is far from ideal as China celebrated its New Year on the 25th January and is in a period of stagnated growth. Economic activity is expected to drop significantly with reduced worker mobility and spending power, following the travel ban that encompasses 12 cities, affecting 35 million people. There has been a large-scale demand for surgical masks and gloves with more than 80 million masks sold. China’s Tencent has also cancelled the firm’s annual bonus release which gives employees the chance to meet chief executive Ma Huateng amid enhanced virus concerns.

The most recent chapter in the impeachment trial sees President Trump’s legal team present their case against his removal from power. The session was very brief with the main statements set for this upcoming week. However, it was clear that further evidence is needed to support any case for the removal of Trump, and this would certainly undermine the US political vote as the presidential election race gathers speed. Two-thirds vote of the Senate are required to remove the President from office, an event that has never happened in US Politics.

Climate crisis was once again the topic of discussion at the World Economic Forum in the ski resort of Davos, Switzerland. President Trump’s comments again sparked debate as he compared Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, to the great Thomas Edison. This follows the significant up-surge of Tesla shares which have increased by just over $300 in the last 3 months. Trump was also quick to boast his role in accelerating economic growth, with unemployment at its lowest rate for 50 years. Most notably, Greta Thunberg echoed her climate crisis call by encouraging global leaders to act immediately, further emphasised by US Vice President Al Gore, who compared the global crisis to the 9/11 event.