LOSERS & LEADERS

Drum English|4 June 2020

LOSERS & LEADERS
There’s nothing like a crisis to show us which heads of state are worthy of their positions and who should be shown the door
LAVERN DE VRIES

DONALD TRUMP (73)

The American president has been handling the crisis badly, by most accounts.

The US has more than 1,5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, with a death toll of over 90 000 – the highest in the world.

Trump was slow to enforce a lockdown and quick to push for reopening the economy.

He’s been blasted by scientists, medics and other world leaders. Even former president Barack Obama said the US government’s response has been “an absolute chaotic disaster”.

From the outset, Trump downplayed the danger of the virus, reassuring Americans “it’s something we have tremendous control over”.

He’s gone from denial to blame to sugges­ ting household disinfectant as a treatment to touting an anti­malaria drug as a cure, all against the advice of experts.

POOR PERFORMERS

JOHN MAGUFULI (60)

While most countries were going into lockdown and banning large gatherings, the Tanzanian president urged his citizens to keep going to churches and mosques.

“Corona is the devil and it cannot survive in the body of Jesus,” he said.

The president’s instruction to pray it away hasn’t worked. So far there have been 21 coronavirus-related deaths and 509 infections, with the numbers spiking.

According to Magufuli, the sharp rise of Covid-19 cases is due to faulty test kits.

JAIR BOLSONARO (65)

Brazil’s president thinks shutting down the economy will ruin his chances of re-election. He has referred to the pandemic as a “little flu” and criticised social-distancing measures as “job killers”.

Bolsonaro’s disregard for lockdown – he publicly joined anti-lockdown protests – is sowing confusion across Brazil, British medical journal The Lancet reports.

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4 June 2020