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IS STUPIDITY THE REAL CONTAGION?

Read this and wonder whether conspiracy theories and rank public stupidity are making the United States ungovernable (then again, are Australians any better?). However, Trump has already wiped out his administration’s institutional capacity to respond to an epidemic. Apparently the wrong Trump showed up to deal with the virus, says one right-wing commentator.

The history of epidemics shows that politicians always seek to spin contagion. Debt hasn’t been a problem for a decade, but coronavirus might just change that. Nouriel Roubini says a global recession from coronavirus isn’t out of the question, but others are more optimistic the crisis will quickly pass. And speaking of conspiracy theories, how the far right is increasingly characterised by the most absurd theories.

STATECRAFT

Trump’s deal with the Taliban is anything but what it needs to be: a full military withdrawal. Speaking of world leaders, Narendra Modi has dragged Indian politics so far to the right that now even his opponents mimic his xenophobia. And now India’s Muslims are facing a growing danger of pogroms.