The Coronavirus Pandemic has tested national leaderships across the world, and at this critical juncture, Donald Trump recommends sunlight, injected disinfectants and heat for curing the infection, right-wing leader and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says “so what” as Coronavirus deaths surge and mass graves are dug in the Latin American country, and finally UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, unfortunately, gets infected with COVID-19 after he confessed shaking hands with Coronavirus patients.
Right-wing leaders from White-Christian and first world countries have been particularly insensitive and criminally negligent in battling the Coronavirus Pandemic. Today, these conservative leaders in the Western world have slipped their countries into a deep crisis.
Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil:
Bolsonaro has turned out to be the most insensitive and unscientific of all leaders across the world in times of the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, which got particularly emphasised when he shrugged off the rising Coronavirus deaths in the country saying “So what?”
More than 5,500 people have already died of the Wuhan virus in Brazil and even Manaus, the capital of Amazonas State, which is isolated from the rest of the country is accessible only by plane or boat from the rest of Brazil. The native tribes of the Amazon rainforests have therefore come under threat of getting wiped out by the novel and lethal COVID-19.
But Bolsonaro gets irritated when journalists ask him questions about rising deaths. “I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?” Jair Bolsonaro counter-questioned reporters when they asked him about the record 474 deaths on Tuesday. He went ahead and added, “My name’s Messiah,” in reference to his second name, Messias, but, “I can’t work miracles.”
Like his ideological ‘right-wing’ cousins in the United States and the United Kingdom, Bolsonaro is more worried about economic losses than losing human lives, which is why he has called the lockdowns imposed by Governors and Mayors a ‘crime’, stressing that people have nothing to fear.
He said, “Other viruses have killed many more than this one and there wasn’t all this commotion,” and “what a few mayors and governors are doing is a crime. They’re destroying Brazil.”
Bolsonaro doesn’t know what he can do about the rising Coronavirus deaths, but he does seem to have an idea of how to aggravate the outbreak by forcing Governors and Mayors to give up on lockdown measures.
Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom:
The United Kingdom is really an embodiment of racial superiority and first-world privilege. Still living in the perception that the Sun never sets on the British Empire, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a “herd immunity” strategy to combat the virus.
Keeping theatres, clubs and restaurants open, the Conservative government was probably deceived by the idea that a virus that killed its 20th-century subjects in Asia wasn’t potent enough to turn fatal in the United Kingdom.
Leading this catastrophic strategy was Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself, who went on record, saying, “I am shaking hands continuously. I was at a hospital the other night where there were actually some Coronavirus patients & I shook hands with everybody. People can make up their own mind but I think it’s very important to keep shaking hands.”
Later, the right-wing leader and Prime Minister himself got indisposed with the novel infection and now the country is struggling with the Pandemic along with a leadership crisis. The death toll keeps going up, and the healthcare facilities are seriously overwhelmed despite Indian-origin doctors, who faced racist slurs during the Brexit campaign, taking charge of the situation.
This Wednesday the United Kingdom revised its death toll after 4,419 new deaths in retirement homes were included in Coronavirus fatalities. Thousands of people dying in retirement homes without getting medical assistance speak volumes of how badly the health infrastructure in the country has been crippled.
Donald Trump in the United States:
More than a million confirmed cases and 61,000 deaths sound like unreal statistics, but the numbers become all that more believable when one takes into account the highly insensitive, unscientific and irrational approach that Trump has taken when it comes to the Coronavirus situation in the biggest economy of the world.
The same sense of racial superiority and first-world privilege that proved to be the United Kingdom’s undoing also describes Trump administration’s appalling response to the Chinese virus Pandemic.
For starters, right-wing leader Donald Trump was way too concerned about economic gains rather than caring about human lives. Literally aspiring to take on its Asian competitor, China, the United States was ready to sacrifice its elderly in order to save its economy and Donald Trump was hopeful that American heat will kill the novel infection.
Trump himself has been insistent on opening up the economy and that is why no nationwide lockdown was announced by the Federal Government, and individual States had enforced different social distancing measures as per the discretion of the Governors.
People keep dying in the United States, which already accounts for over one-fourth of the global COVID-19 deaths, and there has also been a spike in the number of people dying at home suggesting an overwhelmed health sector as well as possible undercounting in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Reluctance to enforce social distancing in Churches is yet another bottleneck in the United States and as of early April, one-third of the cases in Sacramento county, for example, was attributed to places of worship.
India’s so-called right-wing values human lives:
While conservative leaders in the Christian West have come out looking insensitive, irrational and unscientific, the Modi regime in India, which is often labeled as right-wing by West influenced political commentators, has valued lives over livelihoods and economic gains.
While leaders like Trump and Johnson have been acting like sheer businessmen, PM Modi has exhibited statesmanship in line with the ethos of a dharmic Indian State that is not synonymous to a far-right and Christian evangelism-influenced State in the West. India has cared for, and saved ample human lives by announcing early lockdown measures and enforcing social distancing guidelines.
The West kept on looking down upon India when the Pandemic struck the world, and literally wished for millions of deaths, but India’s Modi government has proved that the dharmic Indian State puts a lot of value on human lives and its embedded tenets are also suited to save them in public health emergencies like this.