Opinion |  ‘That’s Ridiculous.’ How America’s Coronavirus Response Looks Abroad.- The New York Times

Video by Brendan Miller and 



‘That’s Ridiculous.’ How America’s Coronavirus Response Looks Abroad.

From lockdowns to testing, we showed people from around the world the facts and figures on how America handled the virus. It wasn’t pretty.

All right. OK. “And I spoke with Angela Merkel today. I spoke with many of the leaders over the last four or five days. They all view us as the world leader, and they’re following us.”

Hold on. [MUSIC PLAYING] Oh wow. Oh my God. That’s ridiculous. Oh, they have mass graves. Even Third World countries like Senegal, where I’m from, isn’t like this right now. Ugh. “Anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there, and the tests are beautiful.” “It’s a nightmare. First denied testing, twice denied E.R. admittance. Iowa man dies of COVID-19.” That just cannot be when a person wants to do a test and gets denied. [MUSIC PLAYING] In South Korea, either you can do drive-through test, or you can even do walk-through test, which looks like a phone booth, and you just go in. Germany, tests are for free. I think we tested, like, 350,000 people a week. I don’t think anyone in New Zealand was denied a test. If you had even the slightest symptoms, it was here’s a Covid-19 test. Please make sure you’re OK. “You know what? Staying at home leads to death also.” Whoa. You have this amount of person in a beach. I remember seeing those pictures and sitting in Germany and worrying about the world going down. It’s contagious. Come on, everybody. “Some young people who are still converging on the beaches of Florida for spring break. Now, the state governor, what does he say? He says he’s not going to shut down beaches amid the outbreak.” Yeah, I don’t think Americans know what a lockdown is. France, Germany, U.K. — Bulgaria, Cyprus — Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda — Luxembourg — Russia, Italy — Albania, Montenegro, India, Iran — Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Nepal. Ooh, OK, that’s a lot. So in Singapore, for example, we’ve got fines if we don’t follow the rules. Here in Jordan, you couldn’t leave your house. You couldn’t even leave, like — you couldn’t even walk downstairs to your neighbor. You weren’t allowed. I understand that they’re feeling worried about the small businesses that they’ve spent their lives building. I understand that. But you can rebuild that. You can’t give someone their life back.

Many advanced economies, from Germany to Singapore, directly supplemented salaries to save jobs. Other nations with fewer resources started mass testing at the first sign of an outbreak. Many countries mandated universal lockdowns — and successfully flattened the curve. In some parts of Europe, you could be fined for straying too far from your home. And Vietnam, a nation of 95 million people, has not seen a single Covid-19 death.

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