Trump and the denial of Covid-19

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Washington, July 7 (Prensa Latina) The president of the United States, Donald Trump, qualifies today as one of the leaders who now faces record numbers of people affected by the new coronavirus, after being reluctant to adopt measures against the pandemic.

Governments that adopted stricter policies, and did so more quickly, have seen a slower growth in deaths. Rapid action has been essential in flattening the curve of coronavirus infections,’ said Thomas Hale, leader of Oxford University’s Coronavirus Government Response Tracking Tool.

However, Trump still refuses to wear his mask in public, despite governing the country that leads the world in the number of deaths with 130,000 (almost one in four worldwide).

In the United States, it took too long to take the problem seriously, which allowed the virus to become widely established, and now it takes a long time to reduce the rate of infection, Hale said.

In fact, he added, we see the outbreak continuing, probably because the restrictions have been lifted prematurely.

The scientist insisted that the Republican leader minimized the disease, ignored the data, circumvented science and institutions and ignored experiences in other latitudes in order to prioritize economic activity and become strong before the elections, scheduled for next November.

In this trance, the United States not only saw the number of infections rise to 3 million, but also saw its unemployment rate increase to 14.7 percent.

We will have to see the situation, but without a serious strategy, without a post-pandemic plan, without reliable data? the message they are sending to the international community and to investors is one of mistrust. You lose credibility with them,’ said Oliver Stuenkel, professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo.

Analysts believe that the side effects in countries led by denialist rulers go beyond contagion or the economy.

The lack of credibility of politicians in science and their link to certain political ideologies is one of the experts’ most repeated concerns.

Economist Paul Krugman recalls in the New York Times’ Reality of Covid-19 has a liberal bias, that the American right has long rejected evidence-based politics in favour of evidence-based politics, ‘denying facts that might interfere with a predetermined agenda’.

There has been a failure between the scientific community and politics to forge an effective alliance,’ says Vania Figueroa, vice-president of the Chilean Research Network and a doctor of neuroscience.

In Germany or New Zealand, scientific advice has been binding, unlike in the U.S. where Trump has turned off the evidence and committed dangerous aberrations. This is a contradiction in a country that leads the world in research. And the same is true in Brazil,’ the expert adds.

Science is the most valuable tool we have to confront fake news and denial,’ she concludes.

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