What Explains COVID’s East-West Divide?

COVID-19 has been ruthless in choosing winners and losers around the world. The obvious “losers” have been those countries led by right-wing nationalists: Brazil, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and (until recently) the United States. These five countries are responsible for more than half of the world’s coronavirus infections and nearly half the deaths. Just as obviously, the...
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America’s Destructive Denialisms

The presidential election wasn’t close. Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, which translates to a margin of 4.5 percent. His Electoral College victory was larger than either of George W. Bush’s. Yet, Donald Trump still refuses to concede. The soon-to-be-ex-president tried to pressure Republican legislators to overturn the election results in the states where Biden’s...
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The Pandemic Pivot

If the current pandemic is a test of the global emergency response system, the international community is flunking big time. It has done just about everything wrong, from the failure to contain the virus early on to the lack of effective coordination thereafter. As the predicted second wave begins to build — the world is now adding over 400,000 new cases per day — it is truly disheartening to...
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Pandemic Reveals Europe More United Than United States

During the Trump era, America increasingly seems like a motley collection of states brought together for reasons of territorial contiguity and little else. The conservative South is ravaged by a pandemic. The liberal Northeast waits patiently for elections in November to oust a tyrant. A rebellious Pacific Northwest faces off against federal troops sent to “restore order.” The Farm Belt, the...
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In the US, the Second Wave Is Already Here

If the United States had quick-thinking and efficient leadership, the pandemic would have infected about 100,000 people and killed only a couple thousand. That’s the experience of South Korea, times seven to account for the difference in population. If the United States had overwhelmed but reasonably sensible leadership, the coronavirus pandemic would have racked up somewhere near a million...
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