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Political Disruption Due to Novel Coronavirus
Assume that these "consensus" projections for covid (aka "novel coronavirus") are correct:
Roughly half of Americans will catch covid this year.
This report's fatality rates by age (Table 1) end up being more or less accurate -- particularly the high fatality rates for people age 70+.
If these assumptions are true, though, and all else is held equal (another huge assumption), a little back-of-the-envelope math shows:
There is a 1-in-5 chance that one of the five main candidates currently running for President of the United States will die of covid by the end of the year.
There is just about a 1-in-4 chance that one of the current justices on the U.S. Supreme Court will die of covid by the end of the year.
A little over a 1-in-3 chance that at least one of these things happens.
About a 1-in-20 chance that both will happen.
70-to-90 year olds dominate our key political institutions, and are also (according to that particular paper) roughly 50 times more vulnerable to coronavirus than 20-50 year olds. This has consequences.
(I don't even want to think about running this math for all of Congress, which is chock full of old people. Mitch McConnell is 78. Nancy Pelosi is 79.)
This math is very naive, and ignores things like co-morbidity and celebrity-level health care... but (assuming the assumptions about covid are true) it's in the ballpark. It stands to reason that folks should start pricing in at least some possibility of significant political disruption caused by the novel coronavirus.