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COVID hypocrisy & misinformation

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here from sunny Nantucket and going to be here for a little bit. Thought we would talk about the latest on COVID. Certainly, we had hoped we'd be talking less about it at this point, at least in terms of the developed world. A combination of the transmissibility of Delta variant and the extraordinary misinformation around vaccines and COVID treatment means that we are not in the position that many certainly had hoped we would be today.

The United States is the biggest problem on this front. We are awash in vaccines. Operation Warp Speed was an enormous success. The best vaccines in the world, the most effective mRNA, the United States doing everything it can to get secure doses for the entire country quick, more quickly than any other major economy in the world, and now we're having a hard time convincing people to take them. The politics around this are nasty and as divided as the country, absolutely not what you want to see in response to a health crisis.

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Progress on infrastructure bill despite Senate vote against it

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred two Republican members from serving on the Jan. 6 commission. What's going on?

Well, the Jan. 6 commission was designed to be a bipartisan commission, taking input from members from Democrats and Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the opportunity to make recommendations but the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, could always veto those recommendations. In this case, she did, saying no to two members, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom are strongly aligned with President Trump and who voted against certifying the election results in 2020. The Republicans for the most part see the Jan. 6 commission as an opportunity to score political points against them, and the Democrats say this is going to be a fair, non-biased, and nonpartisan investigation into what happened on Jan. 6, starting with a hearing next week with some of the police officers who were involved in the battle with the protesters inside the Capitol.

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Are America’s days as a model of democracy truly over?

American power was indisputable in the 20th Century. The US helped win two World Wars, developed a resilient economy, and in 1991 emerged from the Cold War as the sole global superpower. But today the country is facing unprecedented polarization. Its behavior in recent decades has left many asking: Has the US become less of a blueprint for success, and more of an example of what NOT to do in the world?

Headlines about police brutality, a botched COVID response, daily mass shootings: America isn't living up to its status as a "shining city upon a hill." Ian Bremmer examines the question: has the American Century come to an end?

Watch the episode: Is American democracy in danger?

One journalist’s view from inside the US Capitol on January 6

British reporter Robert Moore, who works in Washington DC for the UK network ITV News, was one of the few journalists embedded with the insurrectionists that stormed the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Moore describes what he saw as he and his broadcast news crew covered what became an angry and dangerous mob, as they forced their way into the halls of Congress.

Watch the episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Is American democracy in danger?

January 6 committee partisan battle; SCOTUS rules on election reform

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is forming a January 6th committee to investigate the Capitol insurrection. What do you expect to come from it?

Well, the committee is allowed to perform with the input from minority Republicans, but the Republicans are basically refusing to participate. Which means that most committee members, with the exception of probably Liz Cheney, the Trump critical member of Congress from Wyoming and daughter of the former vice president, are going to be Democrats. And the Democrats are going to probably go into this with an earnest desire to look at what happened on January 6th, who instigated the riot, why it happened, why the signs were missed at the Capitol by the Capitol police and others. What's likely going to come out of this is a lot of partisan messaging, trying to link the Republican party to the insurgence that stormed the Capitol on January 6th. That will help to harden views around January 6th and lead to more ongoing partisan battling in the advance of the 2022 midterm elections. So, expect a lot of heat, but not a lot of light to come out of this investigation. It'll probably be dismissed by Republican critics, even if its findings were to be sound.

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Podcast: US national security depends on domestic progress: Jane Harman explains

Listen: Jane Harman, a nine-term member of Congress (D-CA) who served for decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives, discusses the shortcomings of the US national security strategy for the last few decades, and assesses the Biden administration's plans to strengthen it. In an interview with Ian Bremmer, she discusses the priorities for addressing critical issues at home and abroad, from the COVID pandemic to the climate crisis and terrorism. But without a unified and functional Congress, Harman warns, the US is ineffective on matters of security. "Where is Congress? Congress can't get things done because of toxic partisanship, but the other reason it can't get anything done is members don't want to own the consequences. And that is chicken."

Harman, author of the new book, "Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Make Us Less Safe," discusses Joe Biden's presidency so far and gives him high marks on assembling an "A-team" for foreign policy. She adds, 'I'm just hopeful that because he has long term relationships and really a good compass for how to talk to members of Congress, he will be able to get somewhere."

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Can President Biden convince the average Joe that foreign policy matters?

President Biden may have convinced American allies that the US is back, but will It be difficult for him to convince his fellow Americans that engaging in the world is vital to protect interests at home? Former US ambassador Ivo Daalder believes that the COVID crisis has shown Americans that global problems can become local problems quickly. According to a Chicago Council poll, two-thirds of Americans believe that it is important for the US to play an active role in global affairs. Being involved is "no longer a luxury," Daalder told Ian Bremmer on GZERO World. "That's why a foreign policy for the middle-class is actually a pretty good slogan when you think about it, because it's trying to sell engagement, solving problems together with your friends and partners around the world, as a means to helping you achieve what you want every day - which is to have a good job that pays enough to take care of your family."

Watch the GZERO World episode: Has Biden convinced the G7 "America is back"?

Make politics “boring” again: Joe Biden’s first 100 days

After four years of President Trump lobbing red meat to his base nearly every day, President Joe Biden's first 100 days in office have been refreshingly "boring." He's fired off zero early-morning Twitter rants and picked no fights with professional sport teams nor Mika Brzezinski. That's not to say, however, that he hasn't been busy. Since January 20th, Biden has issued more executive orders than any president since FDR, 40 of them by mid-April. His administration has already blown through their (admittedly low bar) goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, topping 200 million. He's also gotten a record $1.9 trillion stimulus deal through Congress and announced a complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by 9/11/21. According to international relations expert and Atlantic contributor, Tom Nichols, that's exactly the kind of "boring" America needs right now. Especially at a time when the nation is going through what he calls a "narcissism pandemic." Nichols joins Ian Bremmer for a conversation on GZERO World.

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