President Trump’s failures regarding covid-19 are obvious. His wishful dismissiveness, his refusal to promote masks, his churlish statements that testing somehow cause the disease, repeated and unwarranted comparisons to influenza, hyping untested and ineffective “cures”, standing in the way of states getting medical equipment, demanding states open businesses before the virus was under control and demanding schools open early have all contributed to a death toll that is now over 140,000 and is likely to be over 200,000 by election day… while South Korea, a country which had its first confirmed case on the same day as the United States, has yet to break 300 deaths.
Trump is not the only President to utterly fail his people. Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has taken most of the same stances as President Trump, with similar results. More than 77, 000 Brazilians are now dead, with approximately a thousand dying every day since the beginning of June. The “Tropical Trump” has responded to the deaths by cutting off information about fatality numbers to the press; absent official numbers from the government, their death rates have been tallied by having newspaper reporters stationed with coroners to count the victims and share their counts with other reporters.
Russia is also on the list of prominent global failures… their numbers are far smaller, officially, clocking in at about 175 people per day since the beginning of June, but experienced Russia watchers have cautioned that their true numbers are likely far higher and have been misreported by a government which operates at the will of Vladimir Putin. The mysterious deaths of prominent doctors earlier in the year, most notably when three health care workers separately fell from high windows within a span of weeks as reported by NPR, seems to validate suspicions of the official record.
There’s another prominent failure who receives little attention: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, “AMLO”, the President of Mexico. Despite averaging about 700 daily deaths for more than a month, AMLO has avoided the international spotlight in large part because of how much attention some of the aforementioned world leaders have been receiving.
AMLO has not insisted the disease is just like the flu. He has not purchased large quantities of hydroxychloroquine. He has not had doctors murdered. He has instead followed a different, yet still destructive, course. He has done nothing.
The Mexican President has been pursing an economic course of tempered austerity, rolling back governmental aid while simultaneously seeking to increase the minimum wage and mandatory benefits offered by Mexican companies. He has received considerable criticism for excluding oil companies and some other businesses owned by his supporters from many of his new regulations. These policies were expected to be placed on hold during the coronavirus crisis. Instead, AMLO responded that covid-19 was “like a ring to a finger” for his policies… a Mexican phrase equivalent to “fits like a glove.” He has refused to enact aid packages for Mexicans even as the virus grows in severity across his nation.
During the same speech on April 3, he stated that covid-19 was merely a “transitory public health crisis.” Then, in May, the Mexican government decided that hundreds of areas throughout the country would be encouraged to open due to low rates of the virus; these mostly rural locations were termed “municipalities of hope”. The idea was that the disease could be managed in the cities and the rural areas would be able to see great success without the unfair competition or restrictions from urban citizens with governmental and international connections. Instead, as noted recently by the UK Guardian, nearly all of those locations have seen a large increase in covid-19 cases as people, absent any comprehensive national response plan, have taken wildly differing and often ineffective measures to prevent the disease’s spread.
AMLO decided to use the covid-19 crisis as a political tool, rather than see it as a danger to his people. The Mexican people are suffering and dying as a result, independent of any sporadic notice from the international community.