You can always count on Merkel to give it to you straight but probably not to make you feel better. Italy still has by far the highest reported death toll from the disease, though the U.S. has overtaken it in the number of cases. And you'll never see this message again. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. But as bad as he’s been, and he’s been very bad, he’s not the worst coronavirus leader in the world, or even in the Western Hemisphere. You can manage your newsletter subscriptions at any time. Mahathir Mohamad, The current prime minister of Malaysia, is the oldest state leader in the world. Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, is the youngest state leader in the world with an age of 37 years. Thanks for signing up! Now, his poll numbers are at record highs heading into elections this month, and he’s lobbying other governments to adopt South Korea’s approach. From the debt crisis to the refugee crisis and now this, she has been unintimidated by big numbers, daunting problems, or controversial solutions. Richest world leaders 2020 Rank Name Title Estimated Wealth 1. While Johnson has been pilloried around the world for “herd immunity,” Sweden is also taking a hands-off approach to social distancing, relying on people to be responsible rather than closing businesses by force. Nobody has risen to the occasion, but nobody’s really disappointed either. One thing worth noting is that while Trump has indeed seen a polling bump during the crisis, much to the consternation of his critics, it’s been a small one by global standards. Angela is known as one of the most powerful women in the world. Even if he loses the election—not impossible given the state of the economy—he’s almost guaranteed to be a fixture at U.N. summits and thought leader gatherings for decades to come, assuming those are things that still exist in the decades to come. I am Slate’s international editor, filling in for Jim “the Surge” Newell, and this week we will be taking a trip around the globe to rank world leaders in their response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. This is definitely not what Conte signed up for, but he has approved economic stimulus measures and aid packages for the worst hit, his approval ratings are high, and the far right in Italy has been mostly sidelined. Despite well-founded doubts about the accuracy of its numbers, China has clearly bent the curve after months of draconian lockdowns and mass surveillance measures. By Germany was early to implement social distancing measures and mass testing. East Asia’s economic powerhouses—South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore—have done the best job so far of containing the pandemic. Welcome to this week’s edition of the Surge. He has contradicted his own health officials by calling for schools to reopen and for Brazilians to go back to work and said that he is unlikely to be infected because of his “past as an athlete.” (The NBA begs to differ.) Germany has so many free ICU beds it is flying, centralized and personalized autocratic regime, calling for schools to reopen and for Brazilians to go back to. German scientists had already developed a reliable test in mid-January and can conduct up to 500,000 of them per week at this point. It might seem harsh to pick on Johnson, who last week became the first elected world leader to be diagnosed with COVID-19, but he brought this on himself. There are plenty of stories on Slate and elsewhere about the missteps that got the U.S. into its current catastrophe as well as the president’s rambling and self-serving justifications for it, so I’ll spare you the longer version. Merkel also set an example by going into self-isolation after coming into contact with a doctor who had been infected. Bolsonaro then shook hands and took selfies with nearly 300 people at a rally of his supporters. She has been serving as the Chancellor of Germany since the year 2005. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. After the virus spread overseas, Chinese officials tried to deflect blame with conspiracy theories pointing the finger at the U.S. military for engineering it. This has held true for Bolsonaro’s coronavirus response, which feels both more deliberate and may end up being more damaging than Trump’s. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. Britain’s pubs weren’t even shut down until March 20, when 3,000 people were already infected. Mexico’s curiously unconcerned Andrés Manuel López Obrador is in the running for that title, particularly after violating social distancing guidelines so he could visit El Chapo’s mom this week, but really there can be only one choice. The “rally-round-the-flag” effect is real, and Trump isn’t getting as much from it as his peers. But then, spread by a secretive church in the city of Daegu, the outbreak rapidly grew into what was, for a time, the largest outside of China. While the rest of Europe started adopting social distancing strategies in early to mid-March, the U.K. decided to go a different route, protecting vulnerable populations while letting the virus circulate in the public at large to develop “herd immunity.” While other countries were shutting down schools and workplaces, the U.K. told citizens to go on about their business. Vladimir … All rights reserved. Trumpism is less a philosophy than a mixture of one man’s impulses, prejudices, and whims that subordinates try with varied success to retcon into deliberate policies. You can cancel anytime. There were early missteps—Conte played down the crisis, blamed the high infection rate on aggressive testing, and failed to adequately convey the necessity of social distancing measures. Assuming we have decades to come. This is the opposite order of how you want to do things: The British government let the virus circulate and then sent people home to infect their family members. She’ll leave a complicated legacy, but Germans may miss her next time there’s a crisis. Conte wasn’t even supposed to be here. The Communist Party chairman and the state media spent weeks downplaying the virus’s rapid spread in Wuhan and punished the people who were trying to raise the alarm. While schools were closed, South Korea never had to implement full-scale shutdowns. Do I really have to go into it? Of these, South Korea stands out for having beaten back an outbreak that had already gotten quite serious, and having done so without the kind of draconian lockdowns employed in much of the rest of the world. April 03, 2020 214 days to Nov 03, 2020 Slate’s guide to the presidential candidates everyone’s talking about this week. Shortly after returning from a trip to the U.S., a member of Bolsonaro’s entourage tested positive for the virus. Let’s meet them. It’s never a good idea to bet against the Chinese Communist Party and its quite possible that Xi will use this crisis to entrench his power further, but if there is political change in China, it’s likely the coronavirus will one day be viewed as the moment it started. All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. But Italy was the first country outside China to order the sort of widespread lockdown that is now in place for much of the human race, and the pace of infection appears to be leveling off. At a time when other leaders were still playing down the seriousness of the virus in early March, Merkel went on TV and told Germans it was likely that “60 to 70 percent of the population will be infected” by a disease for which they had no immunity and there was no vaccine. These people are who we thought they were. In July 2020, he will turn 95 years old. He has suggested Brazilians should be studied because they “never catch anything” and said the virus is a media “trick.” Meanwhile, Brazil’s infection rate is growing at an alarming rate, forcing Brazil’s environmental officials to scale back monitoring of deforestation, assuring the world of decades of crises to come. The full list of world leaders 2020 It’s still early and things could take a turn for the worse, but while other country’s hospital systems are collapsing, Germany has so many free ICU beds it is flying in Italian and French patients for treatment. You’ve run out of free articles. Things were quickly brought under control through extensive testing, an innovative system using phones to track contacts of infected individuals, and voluntary business shutdowns. Keep up with the race for 2020 with Slate’s weekly presidential campaign newsletter, written by Jim Newell. Moon, a liberal who took power after the impeachment of his predecessor in 2017 and is best known internationally for his efforts to normalize relations with North Korea, was initially pilloried for saying that the virus would “disappear before long” and assuring people they didn’t have to wear masks. Send me updates about Slate special offers. Welcome to this week’s edition of the Surge. But Xi, who has created a highly centralized and personalized autocratic regime, is not the hero here. 10] Francois Hollande The obscure law professor who has never held any other political office began his second stint as Italy’s prime minister last year as a nonpartisan compromise pick in coalition talks between the center-left Democratic Party and the undefinably weird Five Star Movement after the far-right League party fell from power. While more than 47 percent of Americans now approve of the Trump administration, compare that with 72 percent for Johnson—who’s had a pretty mixed record here!—or Conte at 73 percent. (It’s worth noting that Johnson has in the past argued that the real hero of the movie Jaws is the mayor who insisted on keeping the beaches open.) Brazil’s right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro and his associates often express ideas that sound similar to Trump’s, but the difference is that it seems like they’ve really thought about it. Recent days have also seen rare public clashes between residents and the authorities in Hubei province, and there are signs that China’s youth are increasingly critical of the government’s handling of the situation.
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