Mexico finds itself at a critical moment in history: its populist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (also known as AMLO), appears unable to get control of the rampant violence that he promised to curb or of the raging coronavirus that he himself was just infected by. And during this moment of crisis, Mexico's most important trading partner, the United States, has just elected a new president. Outside observers were surprised by leftist AMLO's ability to get along so well with former President Trump. Will President Biden prove a tougher challenge? Ian Bremmer welcomes acclaimed journalist and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos to GZERO World.
As Mexico's COVID death toll surpasses India's, making it the third highest in the world, Univision anchor and acclaimed journalist Jorge Ramos joins GZERO World to discuss the reasons why the nation has responded poorly to the pandemic. "It was clearly mismanaged. It didn't work. And now Mexicans are suffering the consequences," Ramos said.
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"This is the part of the horror film where a happy ending seems in sight, but it is obvious to those paying attention that the monster is not dead and that the worst may be yet to come." That's how New York Times columnist Ezra Klein described this moment in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. We're in a new year, there's a new president, and the record-breaking development of vaccines that work has wounded the monster, but there are deadly battles still ahead. Chief among them: the highly-contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus.
Watch the GZERO World episode: The race to vaccinate
For a while, says surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande, India was on the same skyrocketing COVID-19 infection rate pathway as the United States. But then something remarkable happened: masking went way up, and infection rates plummeted. And in Israel, Dr. Gawande estimates that enough of the population has already been vaccinated to meaningfully bring down infection and hospitalization rates. The key to effective pandemic responses around the globe, Dr. Gawande concludes, is effective leadership. Dr. Gawande joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about some of the success stories from around the world. He'll also weigh in on whether or not China and Russia's less-vetted vaccines are safe to take.
Watch the episode: The race to vaccinate
Listen: Can the United States vaccinate enough of its population to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths before new and more contagious COVID-19 variants take hold? And will these vaccines even be effective against more adaptable mutations of the virus? Surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande, most recently of the Biden/Harris COVID-19 Transition Task Force, joins the podcast to discuss the latest in the global effort to vaccinate our way out of this pandemic. He also explains why people should get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if offered the chance, despite its lower overall efficacy rate compared to the mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.