Treasury is again trying to convince people that their stimulus debit card was not a scam.
The United States is like several great nations rolled into one. Each region has its own distinct culture. Each responds to challenges differently. But America has always pulled together when it matters most. It’s filled with strong, resilient people. Historically, they’ve overcome every national threat. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the commander of the Japanese fleet, Isoroku Yamamoto reportedly said, “I fear we have woken a sleeping giant.”As history revealed, he was 100 percent correct.But with COVID-19, the U.S. is off to a sleepy start. The country constitutes about 4.25 percent of the world’s population. But according to Our World In Data, about 25.4 percent of the world’s COVID-19 deaths have been in the United States. As of June 24, 2020, global deaths (including the United States) totaled 477,269. The U.S. death toll, alone, exceeded 121,000.Say what you want about testing… or not testing. These death numbers reveal a shocking tale. Irish Times writer, Fintan O’Toole didn’t pull punches in a column that he wrote at the end of April:“Over more than two centuries, the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger. But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the US until now: pity.”You might be tempted to blame local administrations or the federal government. But people need to ask, “How can I make this better?”Countries that are successfully dealing with COVID-19 have one thing in common: They took social distancing seriously. As a result, the rates of new deaths dramatically dropped. Many of their economies are up and running again. They didn’t yell in protest, “We need to get back to work!” Nor were they yelling, “It’s my right to get a haircut!” This happened in America. Most of the rest of the world didn’t have such demonstrations.You might call the “back to work” protests stubborn. But they also showed an aspect of strength that’s ingrained in the American people. It showed the long-time ability of the people to stand up for their rights.However, this time it’s different. COVID-19 requires sacrifice, much like food rations during war. During England’s Battle of Britain, families gave up pots and pans. They were melted down to build new Spitfire fighters to defend the country against the Nazis who bombed their country almost every night. Similarly, COVID-19 is like a war. If we let it win, it could cripple America’s people and economy while the rest of the world moves on. My wife and I came to Canada to visit my family in early March. We planned a short visit. By now, we had hoped to be in the United States. But COVID-19 forced a change of plan. The borders are closed to non-essential travel, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says they won’t open up until the United States gets a better handle on the virus. Perhaps, for the first time ever, Canadians fear the United States.On June 24, 2020, my wife called the Seattle airport customer service. She asked if she and I could fly to Seattle and whether we would have to quarantine. The answer was “Yes, we could enter the United States and no, we wouldn’t need to self-isolate.” If that sounds normal, it isn’t. Other U.S. states require a period of self-isolation. And almost every other country requires a strict quarantine period…if they’re allowing foreign citizens to enter the country at all.Some parts of the U.S. are handling the crisis well. They’ve been serious about social distancing. Others, unfortunately, haven’t. But a pandemic is like a swimming pool. If a pool has a “urinating section,” it doesn’t help anyone.As Europe re-opens to travel, The New York Times reports that Americans, Russians and Brazilians might not be allowed to enter. <br /> <br />Countries that responded early and aggressively have dealt with the virus well. As a result, many of their economies now run, full-throttle. Their sickness and death rates are also low. Time magazine gives honorable mentions to countries like New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, Canada and Germany. They also include South Korea, which recorded its first COVID-19 case the same week as the United States. By June 24th, South Korea recorded just 281 deaths. As Time magazine’s Ian Bremmer wrote, South Korea “began developing Covid-19 tests and scaling up production to thousands-per-day while its own toll was still below a hundred…a model that most other countries can only aspire to… especially as it managed to do so without grinding its economy to a halt.”Not every successful country tested as many people as South Korea. Many used different methods. But they all had one thing in common: They strictly enforced social distancing. Many of these countries will likely face second and (possibly) third waves. But they know how to bring their case numbers down. And they’re good at doing it. So far, the U.S. has been far less consistent. That’s why the rest of the world is watching.The United States, however, will win the fight against COVID-19. I have faith in the country’s people. Whether they’re fighting for independence, a world war or helping each other after the 9/11 attacks, America pulls together when it matters most.And it matters most now. Andrew Hallam is a Digital Nomad. He’s the author of the bestseller Millionaire Teacher and Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas<br />
The IRS says the July 15 tax deadline won't be extended. Those who owe the government need to file and pay on time to avoid penalties and fees.