Stupidity is rampant about coronavirus-19 policy, in the countries that are performing the worst on this, such as America and UK. We’ll start here with the lists of those countries:
Unadjusted for how large each country’s population is, you will first see here the list of the world’s countries on the basis of simply how many coronavirus-19 cases each nation has, just by clicking here. Though it’s an informative list, it’s not actually the list of the worst-performing countries; and these are the top twelve nations on this list, in order — the 12 countries that have the most cases:
5. South Africa
Countries that have the highest rates of cases per million inhabitants, and of deaths per million inhabitants, are the actual worst-performing countries. To find each of those two lists, click onto that same site (here), and then click atop its column “Tot Cases/1M pop”, or total cases per million population, and you will see the absolute-worst countries in order, on that measure, “Tot Cases/1M pop”. They are:
2. French Guiana
4. San Marino
10. Vatican City
Countries that have the highest rates of coronavirus-19 deaths per million inhabitants are listed in order if you will click atop the column (here) that is headed “Deaths/1M pop” and these are the world’s worst-performing nations on that measure:
1. San Marino
All of these countries have the most-libertarian policies regarding coronavirus-19, policies such as the smallest percentage of people who are wearing face-masks in public, and such as the freest activity in crowds, and, generally, the least concerns about spreading the virus to others (such as to teachers, healthcare providers, and the general public). These countries — libertarian countries — have the most-relaxed policies regarding protection of the public from the spread of the virus.
All of them are U.S.-allied countries. The first of the three lists — the list that’s unadjusted — includes two countries that are not U.S.-allied: Iran and Russia. However, Iran and Russia aren’t among the actual 12 worst, according to either of the two bottom-line measures: “Tot Cases/1M pop”, and “Deaths/1M pop”.
Generally speaking (which means that there are some exceptions to this), being a U.S.-allied country usually reflects being a country that pursues libertarian responses to the coronavirus-19 problem. (These are countries that are controlled by billionaires, and billionaires tend strongly to be libertarians, because a libertarian evaluates one’s self-worth according to one’s net worth — how wealthy he or she is. That’s the ideology America’s billionaires spread throughout their empire.)
Each list of the three “worst nations” changes over time, because some nations have passed their peak of cases and of deaths, while other nations have not. (To check each individual nation on that, go to that same site and click onto that given nation’s name; and, then, scroll down to the chart for “Daily New Cases,” and the chart for “Daily New Deaths.”) Consequently, the problem is likely to worsen in some countries, and to improve in some countries. The three “twelve worst” lists that are shown here are only as-of this particular moment in time. However, the “twelve worst”s have consistently been overwhelmingly lists of libertarian countries (except at the start, when China was the worst merely because it was the first); and the lists at the opposite end — the best-performing countries (nations with the lowest ratios of cases and deaths) — have been the least-libertarian countries on coronavirus-19 policies.
Most individuals don’t think quantitatively, and they therefore evaluate their own country’s coronavirus-19 policies non-quantitatively, simply upon the basis of the prejudices the given individual happens to hold. Libertarian individuals who can’t think quantitatively can’t recognize that the coronavirus data contradict their ideology, and they therefore continue believing their counter-factual ideology. They think anecdotally and prejudicially, instead of systemically: they select anecdotes that support their prejudices.
Here are two such stupid articles about coronavirus-19 policies, both of which ignore the quantitative factors that have been discussed here:
Both of those articles favor a more relaxed public response to the coronavirus problem. Clearly, each of the two articles ignores the bottom-line data about what constitutes failure and success here, and they therefore recommend the very same policies that, in the failed nations on coronavirus-19, have caused the failed nations on coronavirus-19 to be the failed nations on coronavirus-19.
There are other interesting stupidities regarding various nations’ policies on Covid-19. For example: As of August 12th, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control warns Americans who are considering travel to Myanmar (Burma), “COVID-19 risk in Burma is high. CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Burma.” Myanmar has 55 million people, and as of August 12th has had a total of 361 known cases of coronavirus-19, and a total of 6 deaths from the disease. The numbers of daily new cases there are not increasing ever since April 11th. The United States has 331 million people, 5,343,849 Covid-19 cases, and 168,662 deaths from the disease. Whereas Myanmar’s death-rate per million inhabitants is 0.1, America’s is 509, or is 5,090 times higher. But the U.S. Government is warning Americans that “COVID-19 risk in Burma is high.” So, obviously, it’s good to have such a protective government, and such an honest one, as people do, who are in Myanmar. Wikipedia’s article “Foreign Relations of Myanmar” states that, “Bilateral relations with the Russian Federation are among the strongest enjoyed by largely isolated Burma.” So, since the U.S. Government has been trying ever since 26 July 1945 to conquer Russia, one can easily understand why the U.S. Government is warning Americans that “COVID-19 risk in Burma is high.”
Human Rights Watch, which is funded by American billionaires, issued on May 28th their critique, “Myanmar: Hundreds Jailed for Covid-19 Violations: Prison Time for Breaking Curfew, Quarantine Is Excessive and Unsafe” and stated that, “Authorities have charged hundreds more in cases that are ongoing or resulted in fines.” After all: Americans enjoy freedom to die — and even to transmit a deadly disease to other people — so why shouldn’t Burmese, likewise?
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.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.