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Fri Jul 3, 2020, 06:34 PM

Week in charts : The pandemic's relentless advance





It is astonishing how rapidly the pandemic has spread, despite all the efforts to stop it. The world is not experiencing a second wave: it never got over the first. Texas, for example, has become the centre of a viral wave sweeping America’s South and West. Worldwide, more than 10m people are known to have been infected. It took more than three months for global cases to reach a million; the last million came in less than a week. But even as the virus is rampaging through developing countries, people in the West are worried about a second wave. Data from the first wave show how important it is for governments to respond quickly. In many countries, including America, Brazil, Russia and Iran, politicians have lost the trust of their people through their handling of the pandemic. A vaccine remains the best way out of the emergency. To find one, governments are pouring money into what has become a more urgent version of the space race. Oxford University seems to be ahead.



In America the relentless spread of covid-19, added to nationwide protests and an unfolding economic calamity, have pushed Donald Trump even farther behind in opinion polls on voting intentions in the presidential election in November. Much of course could change before then. But at the moment, Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger, is in landslide territory. The Democrats may even secure a majority in the Senate, opening up the chances of a highly productive presidency. Reassuring and popular, Mr Biden boasts a more ambitious policy agenda than is often realised. He stands a good chance of being a surprisingly activist president. But his party is changing. In primary contests, self-proclaimed progressives (many of them African-American) are ousting moderate incumbents all over America.



Vladimir Putin, too, seems to be shaking the faith of some of his supporters. Russia’s president has been able to stage a rigged referendum, declare victory with 78% of the vote and secure constitutional backing to stay in power well into the next decade. It was less brazen than rolling tanks into Red Square and declaring a coup, but only just. Abroad, Mr Putin is suspected of sowing mischief, most recently in an alleged scheme to pay bounties to Islamic militants to kill American and allied soldiers in Afghanistan. But at home the economy is tanking, not helped by a world of low energy prices which, in America, have brought the bankruptcy of a pioneer of the shale-fracking revolution.



China, in contrast, has become a big international creditor. It lends more to many poor countries in Africa and elsewhere than all rich Westerm countries combined, even though new research suggests its total lending is smaller than had been believed. Some critics accuse China of creating unsustainable debt burdens as a way of accruing power. But its experience in Pakistan, an “all-weather friend” and neighbour lurching from one economic crisis to the next, suggests the limits to this approach. And abroad as at home, China’s Communist Party has shown again this week how it would rather be feared than admired. The new security law China has imposed on Hong Kong is more sweeping even than feared. The territory has already felt the chill.

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Reply Week in charts : The pandemic's relentless advance (Original post)
Celerity Jul 3 OP
dawg day Jul 3 #1

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2020, 06:57 PM

1. The White House's new message on Covid: We need to live with it. It's not going away.


There's some of that great American can-do spirit! Sure, European and Asian nations have managed to lower the incidence and deaths by masking and testing. But... we can't do that. We just have to live with 3 million cases in 3 months, and 130,000 deaths, because...

Because our "president" is Donald Trump, and he doesn't care.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1232884?__twitter_impression=true

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