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A nation’s response to disaster speaks to its strength and to its dysfunctions

The Atlantic – Epidemics Reveal the Truth About the Societies They Hit– “..Epidemics, like disasters, have a way of revealing underlying truths about the societies they impact. The Chinese have already paid a high price for the secretiveness of their system, and for the top-down bureaucratic culture that led many, initially, to conceal the disease. By contrast, one of the reasons Italians aren’t panicking more is that they have confidence in the public-health system, and indeed the system in the broader sense of the word, despite Salvini and his disinformation campaigns. Italy has already tested many thousands of people for the virus—testing is free, of course—which is one of the reasons the numbers are so much higher there than elsewhere. People know this, and repeat it to one another, sometimes joking about it (“We Italians are too honest”) but it is a source of pride. Few others in Europe, so far, are testing that widely. And, of course, the U.S. is not doing anything of the sort…”

See also The New Yorker – Evan Osnos: How Political Spin Has Worsened Epidemics – “…This year, in the first months of the coronavirus epidemic, governments in multiple countries have tried to shape the truth in order to maintain control and deflect criticism…”

And Foreign Policy – Trump Has Sabotaged America’s Coronavirus Response – As it improvises its way through a public health crisis, the United States has never been less prepared for a pandemic.

and How to prepare for the coronavirus like a pro – Some of the smartest people I know are getting ready for a crisis—including me.

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