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Coronavirus update from Brazil, Hong Kong and Boris Johnson's UK

As economies reopen, what is the update with the pandemic?

We're no longer epicenter here in the United States or New York, it's now South America. It still feels like the epicenter is New York but no, we're moving along. Big challenges in terms of how those economies are going to respond to lockdowns as they move towards peak, are going to be much more impactful economically on those countries. They're going to need a lot more international support. It's going to be challenging for them to get it. In particular, Brazil, which is the new epicenter taking over from the United States. Has had some of the worst governance of any democracy in responding to this crisis. Massive infighting domestically between the president and governors, the blue state-red state issue, the president wanting to open up and cheerleading, and the governors who in Brazil are much more responsible for health care than they are for the economy in the eyes of the voters, they particularly, they want to actually keep lockdowns. The impact of all of this on individuals in Brazil is because they have a president who is saying this is all fake news, is they're not engaging in social distancing. That's led to a lot more people dying in Brazil. In fact, larger numbers of daily death count now in Brazil than the United States. It's why the US put the travel ban on non-Americans, of non-citizens, non-permanent residents coming back from Brazil.

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Europe COVID-19 Reopening: European Commission Recommendation & UK

What's the confusion around Boris Johnson's directive on opening up Britain?

Well, there's always confusion in his issues, because these issues or these directives are necessarily not covering every single detail. So, there has been a considerable amount of confusion, and I think that's got to be the pattern in quite a number of countries.

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Ian Bremmer: US response to COVID-19 is mediocre

I continue to see incredible polarization: the United States is a hot mess, a disaster, vs no, best response ever, depending on what side of the political agenda you're on. I think that the US response so far, continues to be mediocre.

The big story: people dying. Trump should not have been a cheerleader. He said less than 100,000 would be great. Now, even the most conservative model the US government is using is now expecting 147,000 deaths by August. Well over 150,000 by election day. Trump will say, if I had done nothing, we would have 2.2 million deaths, framing for advertising. But it's hard to sell that.

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Coronavirus in Wuhan; Tanzanian Papayas; Maduro's Strength in Venezuela

With new coronavirus cases emerging in Wuhan, what does that mean for China?

Well, it means that transmission is very much a concern, even in a country that has the most draconian capacity to keep people in place, quarantine and track and surveil them. So, you've got, I guess, 11 new cases already that they're telling us about. Almost certainly more than that. And they're saying that they're going to test 11 million people in Wuhan in the coming six days. Let's see if they're able to actually get that done. But to be very clear, there is no country in the world that would be able to do broader and more immediate mandatory testing than the Chinese. And what they really want to show, I mean, for all of the backlash internationally for being responsible for the original cover up and the pandemic and also for not handling international leadership well, a lot of the mask diplomacy was more about propaganda than really making a difference for countries that needed the help, but at least in terms of getting the economy running again, while the Americans and Europeans are still locked down, the Chinese are not. And indeed, the supply chain is back up. And that really does matter. And that's what they want to focus on, both for domestic purposes and internationally. So, I think that's a big deal. And we're going to see that China will do everything possible to allow for continued confidence in their supply chain. That matters immensely for Xi Jinping's tenure.

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Is the Swedish approach to fight the coronavirus working?

Is the Swedish approach to fighting the virus working?

Well, that remains to be seen. It's been somewhat less of a lockdown of society. But if you compare with other Nordic countries, we have roughly twice as many deaths of people as we have the other Nordic countries taken together. So, to put it mildly, the jury's still out on that.

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