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Coronavirus: Why Russians Are Lucky to Be Led by Putin

3D Rendering of Coronavirus

Eric Zuesse

On Tuesday, March 24th, the following happened:

U.S.A. had the world’s largest number of new coronavirus-19 cases: 10,168. The prior day, there were 33,546 cases; so, this 10,168 new cases were a 30% increase from the day before.

Russia had 71 new cases, up 19% from the prior day’s 367.

Reuters bannered “U.S. has potential of becoming coronavirus epicenter, says WHO” and reported that,

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was seeing a “very large acceleration” in coronavirus infections in the United States which had the potential of becoming the new epicenter.

Over the past 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were from Europe and the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters. Of those, 40 percent were from the United States.

Asked whether the United States could become the new epicentre, Harris said: “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential.

Right now, on Wednesday the 25th, the U.S. again has the world’s largest number of new cases reported, 11,074. That’s a 25% increase added to the 43,734 cases total on March 24th. And, within just three more days, America will have the world’s largest total number of cases, if Italy won’t. And after yet another day, the U.S. will almost certainly have the world’s largest total number of cases, because Italy has been adding only around half as many new cases per day as the U.S., though Italy’s total right now is higher than America’s, and is actually the second largest total after only China’s. China will have the world’s third-largest total number of cases by this weekend, the 28th or 29th, and America will be #1 then, not only on the number of new cases, but on the total number of cases, of this infection. That quickly, then, China will become no longer the #1 coronavirus-19 nation, but, instead, #3, behind the #1 U.S., and the #2 Italy.

America has been in political chaos because each of its two houses of Congress, and both Parties, and the President, have been blocked from agreeing on what to do — all of them were ignoring that this is an existential emergency and thus dealt with it as if it were instead just another way for each to increase its chances of re-election at the expense of the others. Both political Parties, Republicans and Democrats, and Congress and the President, agreed on a “$500 billion fund for corporations” to reduce the negative impact on billionaires’ wealth, but Democrats demanded that limits be placed on executives’ pay, and “included reducing student debt and boosting food stability programs. Some of the ideas would be major sticking points with Republicans: The bill, for example, would invest money ‘to eliminate high-polluting aircraft’ and ‘research into sustainable aviation fuels.’” Democrats also wanted, but Republicans refused, some costly measures to continue workers’ incomes during their plague-induced period of unemployment. Agreement had been reached only on the billionaire-bailouts — protections especially of stock-values. This is the way America’s ‘democracy’ works. Rule by the billionaires is considered to be ‘democracy’. Luxuries are treated as being more important than necessities are. (Billionaires are thought to be superior people, who must be served before anyone else.) Dollars rule, people don’t. And this chaos is the result of that.

On March 23rd, the prominent progressive economist James K. Galbraith headlined “What the Government Needs to Do Next” and described in detail what a governmental policy-response would be that would subsidize the public to deal with this crisis, but not subsidize the billionaires (who already have way too much and can well afford to become merely millionaires while not actually suffering at all), and that would be of maximum benefit to the total economy by protecting the assets of the most-vulnerable (who could then continue to shop and work), but his common-sense proposal wasn’t even being considered by the legislators, nor by the President.

Only a few countries had a faster rate of increase in cases than the U.S. did on March 24th, but all of them had far fewer cases: Portugal, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda. For example, Rwanda had the world’s highest percentage-increase from the day before, almost a doubling, but that was 17 new cases, up from a total of 19 on the day before. So, America’s 30% increase was clearly the world’s worst performance, on that single day.

Russia’s performance is perhaps the world’s best.

On March 22nd, CNN headlined “Why does Russia, population 146 million, have fewer coronavirus cases than Luxembourg?” (that’s a country of 628,000 people) and reported that

Russia’s early response measures —  such as shutting down its 2,600-mile border with China as early as January 30, and setting up quarantine zones — may have contributed to the delay of a full-blown outbreak, some experts say.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to criticism over the number of recorded cases.

A strong record on testing

“The director-general of WHO said ‘test, test, test,’” Dr. Melita Vujnovic, the World Health Organization’s representative in Russia, told CNN Thursday. “Well, Russia started that literally at the end of January.”

Vujnovic said Russia also took a broader set of measures in addition to testing.

“Testing and identification of cases, tracing contacts, isolation, these are all measures that WHO proposes and recommends, and they were in place all the time,” she said. “And the social distancing is the second component that really also started relatively early.”

Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s state consumer watchdog, said Saturday that it had run more than 156,000 coronavirus tests in total. By comparison, according to CDC figures, the United States only picked up the pace in testing at the beginning of March.

On March 20th, the permanently anti-Russian U.S. organization, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (whose “Orwellian” name was perhaps one of the inspirations for George Orwell’s permanent-warfare novel, 1984) headlined “Confronting the Challenges of Coronavirus, Russia Sees Its Worldview Vindicated”, and tried to put as bad a face on Russia’s coronavirus performance as they could, such as by alleging that (alleged) dictatorships were performing no worse than ‘democracies’ at controlling the coronavirus threat:

The state has reasserted itself as the prime actor on the global scene. International institutions like the World Health Organization have become mere statisticians, and even the EU has taken a back seat to the governments of member states.

The world’s democracies are not faring better in the crisis than nondemocracies.

However, back on 27 July 2015, that organization had bannered “How Authentic is Putin’s Approval Rating?” and reviewed more than 15 years of Putin’s approval ratings from the Russian public, and reluctantly concluded that it was and had always been “Authentic,” and almost always high.

Internationally, too, Putin’s leadership of Russia is more highly regarded than is the current U.S. President’s leadership of America.

Back in 2017, the British firm of WIN/Gallup International issued “Gallup International’s 41st Annual Global End of Year Survey Opinion Poll in 55 Countries Across the Globe”, which sampled 1,000 persons in each country in order to determine in each one the percentage of the public who rated “Favorable” and who rated “Unfavorable” each of the following 12 national heads-of-state (listed here in descending order of their net favorability, or “favorable” minus “unfavorable”): Merkel, Macron, Modi, May, Xi, Putin, Saud, Netanyahu, Rouhani, Erdogan, and Trump. (Merkel globally scored highest, Trump lowest.)

Amongst Russians, the score for Putin was 79% Favorable, 11% Unfavorable, for a net score of +68%.

Though Germany’s Merkel had the highest score worldwide, her score in Germany was only 54% Favorable and 44% Unfavorable, for a net of +10.

Macron’s net score in France was -1%.

May’s net in UK was -18%

Rouhani’s in Iran was +37%

Erdogan’s in Turkey was +22%

Modi’s in India was +72% (that’s 84%-12%)

Trump’s in U.S. was -23% (35%-58%) — the worst of all.

The following leaders weren’t surveyed in their own countries: Xi, Netanyahu, and Saud.

So: Putin’s net +68% score amongst his own country’s population was second ony to Modi’s — and, whereas Modi had been in office for only 3 years and had not yet begun his controversial actively anti-Muslim campaign, Putin had led Russia for 17 years, and was a very firmly established high performer in these figures. Here are some of the reasons for this.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Diana
Diana
March 25, 2020

Well Putin has proved over the years that he is a giant of a man – the only real statesman alive today and he will go down in history as such. He was very astute to close Russia’s borders rapidly because he could see that something very peculiar was happening in Iran and there was likely a project to try to destabilise Russia too. I think anybody with a brain will have worked out that there is no epidemic/pandemic. Thousands of people die every day of multiple causes. Say a country has a couple of hundred deaths, surely people can… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Diana
March 25, 2020

Excellent comment, Diana, thank you. Please let us know how you are doing in Switzerland? Are the borders to France closed off?

Diana
Diana
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
March 25, 2020

Yes, they are Olivia and I’m used to going over to France for my shopping as organic produce is less plentiful and more expensive here. The children’s play areas in the park have been cordoned off although one would think that getting out and playing in the sun would be good for them! I haven’t been shopping since last Friday but my local Coop had everything in stock and there weren’t many people. The buses are running as normal and I plan to take one tomorrow to go to an organic supermarket on the other side of town. If people… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Diana
March 25, 2020

Thanks a lot for the news, Diana. Stay safe, and your children too. I hope you can buy all you need for your family. I know that in Geneva everything is quite expensive, even food. I also go shopping in Coop when I am in Geneva. They have good products. When do you think the border between Geneva and France will open again? I used to ride the train from the South of France to Geneva quite a lot. I do not know when I will be able to do that again. Do you have any idea? Has the Swiss… Read more »

Diana
Diana
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
March 25, 2020

The Swiss Government, like all governments, take their orders from above so they have no say in what they are to do. Johnson and Trump seem not so keen to go along with the directives although they have no choice, but Macron appears to be in seventh heaven. There will be a day of reckoning and I hope it will be soon. I am perfectly safe because I’ve been involved with complementary health for 30 years and have a high-functioning immune system thanks to all the childhood illnesses I had together with a sensible lifestyle.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Diana
March 25, 2020

A day of reckoning? What do you mean, Diana?

Amiya Prasad Dash
Amiya Prasad Dash
March 25, 2020

Putin a great leader always trying to take Russia to a better position.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Amiya Prasad Dash
March 26, 2020

President Putin visits hospital – coronavirus patients:

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
March 26, 2020

Construction of new coronavirus hospital in Russia:

Brokenspine66
Brokenspine66
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
March 26, 2020

Where are the western so-called “Leaders”? A No Show! They are cowardly in hiding, like Merkel in her “Führerbunker” because fake/pretend quarantine.

bluedogg
bluedogg
March 26, 2020

Better guard Putin carefully for we are coming for him, and he will come one way or the other,in January we will install him in the White House along with all his aides and spoke person (lol she is a beauty and has brains to) you get Trump Pompeo and Esper,maybe Pense along with them,if we can’t beat you we will steal your leadership…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.!!!!!!!!!!!

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  bluedogg
March 26, 2020

President Putin’s spokesperson is Mr. Dmitri Peskov.

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  bluedogg
March 26, 2020

First, though, you’ll have to fight off all the people in other countries who will also want him as their leader. 🙂 Imagine a world full of leaders like Putin!

Harvey A Rosariok know o i
Harvey A Rosariok know o i
March 30, 2020

The Russian numbers are manipulated. Who can verify them? Only Russia. Why was Putin in a full hazmat suit with full on filters if he was just freezing through a hospital

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