The United States (US) has now entered its fifth wave of COVID-19 infections. In each one, the country has paid a high price for doing far less than it could. In the first wave, lockdowns and other restrictions were spotty. Then came untested and unproven treatments.
I’ve been a professional free-expression advocate for more than a decade. That is why I support the Facebook Oversight Board’s recent decision to uphold former President Donald Trump’s suspension from the platform and Facebook’s new protocol whereby public figures may be banned for up to two years during times of civil unrest.
It has now been 18 months since the SARS-CoV-2 virus was first sequenced in China. Within a month, the World Health Organization (WHO) had issued its highest possible global alert, declaring the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Weeks later, the WHO declared a pandemic. Yet we are nowhere near the end of the crisis. On the contrary, we have entered a dangerous new phase in its evolution.
“Over the past hundred years, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has united and led the Chinese people in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation,” President Xi Jinping declared at the CPC’s centennial celebration, in a speech that emphasized the Party’s role in driving China’s success, including its economic rise. But the CPC’s economic record is actually mixed, and even those who recognize this often overlook that its successes and f
United States (US) politicians from both congressional parties are worried that China is overtaking America as the global leader in science and technology. In a rare display of bipartisanship, the normally gridlocked Senate passed a bill in early June to spend close to US$250 billion in the next decade to promote cutting-edge research.
Afghanistan is on the brink of catastrophe, and it is United States (US) President Joe Biden’s fault. By overruling America’s top generals and ordering the hasty withdrawal of US troops, Biden opened the way for Taliban terrorists to capture more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s districts. Now, the Taliban is pushing toward Kabul, and the US is looking weaker than ever.
Since the pandemic began 18 months ago, autocratic governments around the world have tightened their grip on the flow of information. These power grabs are all advanced attempts at “media capture,” a term that covers the multiple ways governments, corporations, and other powerful entities seek to influence media output to protect vested interests.Media capture is hardly limited to times of crisis.
When G20 finance ministers meet in Venice on 9-10 July, they should adopt a plan to immunise the world against COVID-19. Every vaccine-producing country will be in the room: the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), China, Russia, and India. Together, these countries produce enough doses to complete the immunisation process for the entire globe by early 2022. Yet the world still lacks a plan to get it done.
“Is my lipstick protecting me against COVID-19?” ranks as one of the more intriguing email queries we have received from a member of the public since we began coordinating the world’s largest tracker of sex-disaggregated data on the pandemic. In fact, the question points to an important universal truth regarding public health.We established the tracker in March 2020 because we thought that COVID-19 was unlikely to be equally distributed in any population. That hunch has proved correct.
Nowhere are the limitations of neoclassical economic thinking – the DNA of economics as it is currently taught and practiced – more apparent than in the face of the climate crisis. While there are fresh ideas and models emerging, the old orthodoxy remains deeply entrenched.