The far right and Covid-19 are best pals. Whether it's Trump's America or Bolsonaro's Brazil, Mahdi's India, BoJo's Britain, even Kenney's Alberta, Thug Rule does seem to encourage the pandemic's spread.
Now I know - there are exceptions. Netanyahu's Israel comes to mind. Wait, what's that?
WHAT CAUSES a country to succeed, or fail, in containing covid-19? Israel offers an example of both. When the novel coronovirus reached the country in March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly ordered a border closure and a national shutdown, then held nightly news conferences to remind citizens to wear masks and wash their hands. He forged a coalition government with the leading opposition party that pledged to focus almost exclusively on the pandemic for six months.They're all working from the same playbook. They're shown what works but they tire of it. Then they do a 180 and it blows up in their country's face. People die. Even more people have long-lasting damage. The economy tanks. Whatever progress they made or might have made is forgone.
Infections plummeted, to a low of 10 new cases a day in mid-May. Mr. Netanyahu’s poll ratings soared. “So far we’ve done it better than nearly every other country in the world,” he boasted. The hubristic prime minister then proceeded to demonstrate how not to manage the disease. He ordered a quick reopening of businesses, entertainment and schools. “We want to make your lives easier, to allow you to go out and get some air . . . to drink a cup of coffee and to have a beer as well,” he told Israelis. “So first of all, enjoy yourselves.”
The predictable result: Israel is now averaging more than 1,770 new covid-19 infections per day and ranks fifth in the world on a per capita basis in the past week, just behind the United States. Mr. Netanyahu’s approval rating has fallen from 74 percent to 46 percent, according to one polling organization. The prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem and his home outside Tel Aviv lately have been the sites of near-nightly demonstrations led by infuriated young people.
(The photo above? It's Israeli protesters swarming Netanyahu's official residence this evening. Perhaps Trump had something like this in mind when he fortified the White House with a big, "no climb" wall.)