Ernste Zweifel an der mentalen Verfasstheit des US-Präsidenten

Karl Doemens, RND:

Ein Interview bei seinem Hofsender Fox News, in dem sich Trump mit seinen guten Umfragezahlen brüstet, führende demokratische Politiker unflätig beleidigt, den Bundesstaaten unterstellt, sie würden Beatmungsgeräte verstecken und seine Sympathien für Russland kundtut, das im Zweiten Weltkrieg gegen den heutigen “Handelsbetrüger” Deutschland gekämpft habe, nährt im Gegenteil ernste Zweifel an der mentalen Verfasstheit des US-Präsidenten, der den Kampf gegen Corona wie eine Reality-TV-Show inszeniert.

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This is how the European dream ends

Lorenzo Consoli:

If European solidarity were more than an empty and hypocritical word, it would be normal for the financially stronger countries of the EU to accept the idea that the public debt generated by the response to the pandemic should be issued in common, with common guarantees, with the same interests rates for all. Eurobonds. As if Spain, for Germany, would be what Lombardy is to Italy, a part of a great nation, the European nation.

But it is not. The European nation does not exist. European solidarity is an empty, hypocritical word. Angela Merkel and Mark Rutte don’t look at Europe, they only look at the Germans and the Dutch.

Ω Ω Ω

Von der Leyen looks the other way. Every day she records beautiful video messages in three languages written by someone else for her. Yet, what matters is the orders she receives from Berlin.

This is how the European dream ends.

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Triage

Mada Masr:

Is capitalist globalization biologically sustainable?

Mike Davis:

Only by accepting a permanent triage of humanity and dooming part of the human race to eventual extinction.

Economic globalization — that is to say, the accelerated free movement of finance and investment within a single world market where labor is relatively immobile and deprived of traditional bargaining power — is different from economic interdependence regulated by the universal protection of the rights of labor and small producers. Instead, we see a world system of accumulation that is everywhere breaking down traditional boundaries between animal diseases and humans, increasing the power of drug monopolies, proliferating carcinogenic waste, subsidizing oligarchy and under­mining progressive governments committed to public health, destroying traditional communities (both industrial and preindustrial) and turning the oceans into sewers. Market solutions leave in place Dickensian social conditions and perpetuate the global shame of income-limited access to clean water and sanitation.

The present crisis does force capital, large and small, to confront the possible break­down of its global production chains and the ability to constantly re-source cheaper supplies of overseas labor. At the same time, it points to important new or expanding markets for vaccines, sterilization systems, surveillance technology, home grocery delivery and so on. The combined dangers and opportunities will lead to a partial fix: new products and procedures that reduce the health risks of constant disease emergence while simultaneously spurring the further development of surveillance capitalism. But these protections will almost certainly be limited — if left up to markets and authoritarian nationalist regimes — to rich countries and rich classes. They will reinforce walls, not pull them down, and deepen the divide between two humanities: one with resources to mitigate climate change and new pandemics and the other without.

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Democracy

Chomsky:

“I mean this is so shocking that you don’t know how to describe it. Germany can’t help Greece: but Cuba can help European countries.

“Just as when you see thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean, fleeing from countries Europe has devastated for centuries and being sent to their deaths in the Mediterranean, you don’t know what words to use.

“The civilisational crisis in the West at this point is devastating to think about. And it does bring up childhood memories of listening to Hitler raving on the radio to raucous crowds adoring him at the Nuremberg rallies.

“One begins to wonder if the species is even viable.”

Our only hope for overcoming these crises is to expand democracy, Chomsky said.

“If we’re leaving our fate to sociopathic buffoons, we’re finished.

“An informed, engaged, involved public taking control of their fate — if that doesn’t happen, we’re doomed.”

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Vibes

Yaschka Mounk, The Atlantic:

A friend and former student of mine who moved to the United States from Germany for college summarized the stark difference between the two countries: “The vibes I get from family in Germany is that this sucks but it’s going to be okay,” Martin Eiermann told me. “People will come together; the state will soften the blow; the right people are making the right decisions. And that’s not the vibe I get here in America.”

It’s hard to disagree with him.

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Greatness

Wall Street Journal:

With Democrats bailing out on bipartisan­ship in a unique circumstance, the responsibility of national leadership—a historic opportunity—defaults to Mr. Trump.

It diminishes a wartime president to spend valuable time tussling with the barely relevant nonquestions of NBC reporters. It diminishes the president’s most impressive accomplishment: delegating and distributing operational authority for the details of the coronavirus battle to Vice President Mike Pence and the task force’s scientific and administrative experts.

Churchill had his war rooms. The White House press scrum is no war room. The public will keep faith with the president if it believes policy decisions are being made in the Situation Room.

If by September Mr. Trump and his team are bringing the U.S. through the threat from this pandemic, he will be re-elected. Without a single rally. Rallying a nation is what gets presidents remembered.

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Der Kollaps

Spiegel:

Wer in der Stadt bleibt, muss sich auf harte Zeiten einstellen. “Wir stehen vor dem Kollaps”, sagt der Brooklyner Bezirks­präsident Eric Adams.

Die durchschnittliche Lebenserwartung in den USA lag 2015 bei 78,7 Jahren, ein für ein westliches Land ohnehin schon niedriger Wert. In den vergangenen Jahren ging sie aber noch einmal zurück auf 78,5 Jahre, was auf dem Niveau von Albanien liegt. Einen solchen Rückgang hat es in der jüngeren Vergangenheit in keinem anderen entwickelten Land gegeben. Ein Grund für die niedrige Lebenserwartung ist das Übergewicht vieler Amerikaner. Die Fett­leibig­keit ist auch ein Grund dafür, dass rund elf Prozent der Bevölkerung an Diabetes leiden – einer Krankheit, die das Risiko für einen schweren Verlauf einer Covid-19-Infektion zu erhöhen scheint.

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The Chinese virus

Julian Borger, Guardian:

When the UN security council and the G7 group sought to agree a global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts stumbled on the US insistence on describing the threat as distinctively Chinese.

There are other reasons for the lack of collaboration in the face of a global crisis, but the focus on labelling the virus Chinese and blaming China pursued by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, helped ensure there would be no meaningful collective response from the world’s most powerful nations.

For some US allies, the fixation on words at a time when the international order was arguably facing its greatest challenge since the second world war encapsulated the glaring absence of US leadership.

And that absence was illustrated just as vividly by news coverage of planes full of medical supplies from China arriving in Italy, at a time when the US was quietly flying in half a million Italian-made diagnostic swabs for use in its own under-equipped health system and Donald Trump was on the phone to the South Korean president pressing him to send test kits.

“To me what is so striking is the complete absence of the US from public debates. The US is basically off the map, and China very much is on the map,” Nathalie Tocci, the director of the Italian Institute for Inter­national Affairs and a former EU policy adviser, said.

“Whatever happens in the US elections, what is happening now is going to linger on, simply because what we’re going through now is such a traumatic experience … It is going to remain very much in our individual and collective memories.”

“US global leadership won’t just end because they bungled their response to the corona­virus, but I think we will come to find that this was a pivotal point,” said Elisabeth Braw, the director of the Modern Deterrence Project at the Royal United Service Institute in London.

Braw argued that the coronavirus crisis will inflict more lasting damage on the US’s standing than the 2003 Iraq invasion.

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Where is Hillary Clinton when we need her?

New York Times:

WASHINGTON — China and Russia have both seized on the novel coronavirus to wage disinformation campaigns that seek to sow doubts about the United States’ handling of the crisis and deflect attention from their own struggles with the pandemic, according to American intelligence officials and diplomats.

Kremlin-aligned websites aimed at Western audiences have trafficked in conspiracy theories to spread fear in Europe and political division in the United States, the officials said, noting that Russia’s diplomats and state-run news media have arguably been more restrained.

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