The unmitigated global spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is the result of gross incompetence in governance in China, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
COVID-19 deaths globally have surged past 100,000. In the US and UK, deaths are approaching 30,000 — just under a third of the total. And the numbers are still rising astronomically.
Incredibly, US President Donald Trump advocates opening back up a partially locked-down country in May. This is simply for fear the pandemic and fallout will cost him re-election in November. It will not happen. If it does, it will amount to thousands of extra deaths. And the US will be trading with itself, as all its trade partners will be closed for business.
Paradoxically, had the present US leader and his Republican base adopted the Barack Obama policy of taking the fight against the virus to Wuhan, China — an approach also adopted by George W. Bush, Mr. Obama’s predecessor — the existential threat the pandemic poses today would have been a model of study in a university or research lab, and not the reality of present-day humanity: a world shut down by a virus.
In the UK
The UK began its fight against this virus in the same delayed and flawed manner as the US. However, as the “cup of troubles” overflowed with even the UK prime minister getting infected, the country woke up to the reality that the virus posed an existential threat to UK society and economy.
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is in the Obama School, and for years warned that the fight against a global pandemic was only possible with the appropriate medical and scientific infrastructure in place, so that at the first sign of a problem all global resources and effort could be brought in place to stop the virus at root.
However, instead of thoughtful leadership, the US president and his Fox News-loving base dismantled that pandemic-fighting infrastructure out of simple spite, plunging the western world into huge vulnerability even as they have blamed Mr. Obama for every evil under the sun.
Mr. Trump prefers to take advice from rustic evangelists, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing hucksters rather than scientists and epidemiologists.
Today the US is seizing medical supplies for various Caribbean islands as it panics.
The US economy, meanwhile, has practically collapsed. An economic depression is approaching. And until this virus is eradicated, all “manufactured cash” for stimulus is better placed in a “fiery furnace.”
In the past month, 20 million US jobs have disappeared into thin air. It will be interesting to see whether a 50 percent unemployment rate — half the US workforce — will impact Mr. Trump’s re-election effort. It probably won’t. After all, the man rides a golden horse, according to his evangelical supporters.
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