Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The Axis of Incompetence

I call it the Axis of Incompetence – particularly when it comes to the spread of Covid-19.

In pride of place at the top of this triangle is our own dear President Donald Trump.

At the bottom, preening like two bantam cocks stand his two acolytes, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Long live nationalist populist leaders – they top the charts in Covid-19 deaths and infections!

One could toss in President Vladimir Putin but he’s at least a very competent musician, for according to John Bolton he can play President Trump like a fiddle.

Putin may not be having great success stomping out Covid-19 in Mother Russia but he’s nothing if not scientific, for to toss back a vodka with him one must get tested, and then sprayed while passing through a disinfection tunnel to his private quarters. 

Not so our president. Forget about science, he much prefers to trust his “instincts.” 

In January he stated that Covid-19 was “totally under control… it’s going to be just fine.”

In February “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

In March, “Just stay calm, it will go away.”

Had he been uttering these inanities while working behind the scenes all well and good, but we were left defenseless, barely any testing, little PPE for healthcare personnel, along with few masks and less gloves for citizens - just an ostrich-like refusal to take federal leadership or accept responsibility.

Meanwhile down Rio way Senhor Bolsonaro, the “Trump of the Tropics” has even less regard for science - or plain old reality.

He pulled the plug on several quarantine measures initiated by state governors, summoned his supporters to mass rallies, and declared that the big C was little more than a measly cold.

Then when the unimpressed virus ripped through his country he declared, “God is Brazilian, the cure is right here! Chloroquine is working everywhere.”

This “cure” didn’t do him much good for he recently tested positive. Not to worry though, he has converted to President Trump’s anti-malaria drug of choice, Hydroxychloroquine.

The best of luck to both of them though this “cure” - widely considered ineffective against Covid-19 - can do a number on your heart. Ah well, what’s a ticker or two between populists?

Meanwhile there are rumblings in Brazil of coups, revolutions, and attempted suppression of Covid casualty figures.

And what of Boris the Brexit Warrior? Well he also took one for the team and contracted the illness himself. 

Before that he refused to close schools long after neighboring France and Ireland, allowed the jam-packed Cheltenham Races to continue, and breezily shook hands with all and sundry until the Covid brought him to his knees.

With the virus untamed and up to 45K dead he’s recently reopened pubs and cut the social distancing down to 1 meter. Does he seriously believe that this highly contagious scourge can’t be passed on at 3 feet?

He’s had one lucky break. Despite all his Brexit posturing, UK citizens will not be banned from entry into EU countries until at least December when the UK bids a fond farewell to the EU.

Not so Brazil, Russia, and oh dear, the USA. Whatever happened to American exceptionalism? 

Have no fear – it’s still strong. The vast majority of Americans have risen to the task of fighting Covid-19. 

It’s just that the sheer lack of federal leadership has each state competing for resources as the virus continues to surge nationally.

That’s what happens when one man’s drive to be re-elected dictates federal policy.

Oklahoma’s infection rate has been spiking since the president visited Tulsa 3 weeks ago; better look out South Dakota and Washington DC after Mr. Trump’s July 4th weekend of maskless masquerades.

Covid-19 will not “disappear” no matter how much the president wishes it away.  This is real life – not a reality show. 

Without meaningful federal leadership many thousands more will die before a vaccine is made available nationally.

Hopefully by then President Trump will be perfecting his golf game 24/7 down in Mar-a-Lago.

President Bolsonaro will be recovering in exile, and Boris will be fully occupied feeding his Brexit chickens as they come home to roost.

In the meantime the axis of incompetence blunders on. Here’s to better days, to your health and mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome short comments on Belfast Media Group blog postings but you should be aware that, since we've put our names to our articles, we encourage you to do so also. Preference in publication will be given to those who provide an authenticated full name — as is already the case in our newspapers. Comments should be short and relate to the subject matter and, of course, shouldn't be libelous. And remember, if you find that there isn't enough space on our blogs for your views, you can always start your own. There are over two million blogs out there, another one can only benefit the blogosphere.