Coronavirus response in Brazil and Mexico

How are Brazil and Mexico responding to coronavirus compared to other countries?

They're abysmal. Look at Brazil and Mexico, and President Trump looks like a model of statesmanship in comparison. In both cases, you have leaders that are saying this isn't a crisis. It shouldn't be taken so seriously. Don't do shutdowns. And in the case of Mexico, they're still pushing austerity. What a disaster. They're really going to suffer. They have nowhere near the kind of resilience or cash on hand that say the Americans, the Europeans, the Japanese do. It's really, really sad.


Will the response to coronavirus lead to more invasive surveillance by governments?

Absolutely. In some cases, that will lead to a bigger power grab of would be authoritarian leaning governments that are actually democracies. Viktor Orbán, for example, in Hungary, a much greater expansion of direct control over his country that Europeans that aren't distracted with coronavirus themselves, aren't going to do anything to punish him in response. That's where we are. But over the course of the next year, in order to get people back to work, you're going to see much more surveillance of individuals, much more data that will be required, available for governments, for corporations. Look at what they're doing, not just in China, but also South Korea and Singapore, where if you were a suspected positive, you're got an app on your phone or a box, a little box that you're carrying, and it says exactly where you've been. Lets you know if you can or can't go into a building. Makes that available to other people.That's probably coming soon to a theater near you. Americans won't be happy about it. They won't be comfortable with it. But getting the economy going again will be seen as the top priority.

Is the threat of coronavirus in China over?

It's getting close to being over at least as long as they don't have further outbreaks from external sources. They are not releasing data on asymptomatic cases. They're tracking it. They're collecting it. But they're not releasing it. Which implies they don't want us to know. It's problematic for scientists internationally who need that information to understand the trajectory of explosion and diminution of cases in China. We'd much rather if they give us that information. It's pretty clear that they are not covering up at this point significant outbreaks. The people themselves would be getting that information out. It would be very hard for China to do it and they'd be taking a lot of risks domestically.

The new cases they're getting are almost all coming from outside the country and they are under government mandated and supervised quarantine. The numbers of people traveling in China right now is de minimis. Given the nature of the authoritarian state and the extraordinary control they have over their borders, I would say the coronavirus is close to being over right now in China. Always capable to see a new outbreak because the science doesn't yet know as much as they would like to, especially about asymptomatic transmission and how long you might be contagious when it's in your body.

Also, potential mutations from coronavirus, which we're just starting to see the beginning of, though most of those have been less lethal, less fatal. But, potentially more transmissible as they've been popping up. That means their economy should be able to really fully restart by the beginning of May, though, of course, restart with a lot less consumer demand, both in the United States and around the world. And in China itself.

So we are seeing the upside of authoritarian regimes that are technologically empowered. I posted on Twitter the other day a short video on from Nanjing, China, about 12 minutes long, that shows just how the Chinese government was able to respond to coronavirus. Across society. Inside taxi cabs. In places of work. In public transport. Around infrastructure. It's humbling. It's obviously chilling in terms of the surveillance society. And it also is something that clearly the Americans, the Europeans could not possibly do in our societies. So, as quickly as we were able to contain coronavirus in China, it is hard to imagine that you could have an outcome like that in any other real major economy in the world.

Vaccines are the best hope to end the COVID-19 pandemic. But rich countries are hogging most of the doses, with more than 83 percent of shots administered to date having gone to residents in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Most poor countries will have to wait years to achieve widespread vaccination, according to one study.

To address this inequity some stakeholders are pushing hard for waivers to intellectual-property (IP) rights through World Trade Organization trade rules so that manufacturers in poorer countries can make their own vaccines locally. India and South Africa have been leading the charge, which would essentially mean that deep-pocketed pharma companies like New York-based Pfizer, for instance, would have to hand over the keys to the kingdom, allowing local companies in New Delhi and Johannesberg to make generic versions of their vaccines.

Unsurprisingly, the debate has gotten fiery, with passionate arguments emerging both for and against.

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Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened an "asymmetrical, rapid, and harsh" response for anyone that dares to cross a "red line" with Russia.

What's the red line? Putin says he'll decide on a case-by-case basis. And the cases at the moment are growing: the US has sanctioned Russia over cyber crimes; Putin critic Alexei Navalny is near death in a Russian prison; the Czechs say Russia blew up a Czech munitions depot; and as many as 120,000 Russian troops are reported to be massing along Russia's border with Eastern Ukraine.

Which is to say: there's potentially a Sol Lewitt's-worth of red lines to ponder now.

Europe has been hit by a green wave in recent years. Green parties in countries as varied as Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Finland, and Sweden have made sizable electoral gains, with some now sitting in national governments.

The Green phenomenon seems to be gaining yet more momentum in the lead up to some crucial European elections (Germany, France) in the months ahead. What explains the green shift, and where might this trend be headed?

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More than 930 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have already been administered globally, and another 1 billion more are expected to be manufactured by the end of May. Most of the manufacturing is concentrated in a small group of countries. While some — like China, for instance — are exporting roughly half of the shots they make, others — mainly the US — are keeping most of the supply for domestic use. Meanwhile, export controls have been a particularly thorny issue in the European Union and India, where governments have come under intense pressure to stop sending vaccines to other parts of the world amid sluggish rollouts at home. We take a look at what the world's top manufacturers are doing with the vaccines they are producing.

Ian Bremmer explains how a fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, in the summer of 1969, set the conservation movement ablaze in the United States. A TIME Magazine article about the fire led to the Clean Water Act, creation of the EPA, and the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970. Over 50 years later, citizens of the world agree that climate change is a global emergency. But how can nations come together to find solutions that are truly attainable?

Watch the GZERO World episode: Can We Fix the Planet the Same Way We Broke It?

US President Joe Biden's highly anticipated two-day climate summit opens on Thursday, when dozens of world leaders and bigshot CEOs will gather (virtually) to try to save the planet. Above all, the US is looking to showcase the idea that "America is back" on climate change. But will other countries buy it?

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55: EU governments on Wednesday reached a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels by the end of the decade. The commitment is in line with the bloc's broader goal of going carbon-neutral by 2050.

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