Will there be more drastic lockdown measures in the US soon?

Ian Bremmer provides his perspective in (slightly) more than 60 seconds: In fighting this pandemic, do you anticipate more drastic lockdown measures in the US soon?

No, I think the answer to that at this point is no. Even though we expect the next week, two weeks, are going to be the most challenging in terms of the numbers of new cases and deaths in different cities across the country. No, the bigger question is when we start to see a relaxation of that lockdown, which will certainly start happening in the coming, say, four-six weeks, but in different states, in different cities, with different politics behind them, what's the likelihood we have to engage in new shut down? Which is incredibly difficult to do and will make those political leaders look like they acted intemperately. You already see that in places where they've acted very well.


In Singapore, they just had to do a new one-month shutdown. In Japan, they just had to announce a new state of emergency. Clearly, even with the best governance, you're likely to have additional shutdowns in the US. In other words, you don't go from red to green light. You go from red to flashing yellow. And you've got to be really careful before you start moving again. And it's going to frustrate people like hell that we're going to have additional shutdowns in the US. And those political decisions are going to be very, very difficult.

With Boris Johnson hospitalized, where does that leave the United Kingdom?

Well, as of right now, he's not on a ventilator. And that means that Dominic Raab, who is the first secretary and is effectively acting prime minister, but he is still consulting with the PM on key decisions. If Boris Johnson needs a ventilator, he's then sedated, Raab has got to be in charge. He has nowhere near the empathy or the support of the party or of the people that Boris Johnson does. Also, the decisions being taken by the UK in the coming weeks as to how to, when to start relaxing the lockdown, every bit as hard for the UK as here in the United States. A hell of a lot harder with a leader that doesn't really have the authority of his own cabinet, with a cabinet that isn't enormously aligned on these issues and will feel like they should express that lack of alignment very publicly, if Boris isn't there. So, let's hope, let's certainly hope he gets better. Let's also hope he doesn't have to go on a ventilator. But we'll see. Of course, if he does go on a ventilator, given his age, the likelihood he makes it out is close to a coin flip. And that, that shows you the seriousness of this disease.

Is Brazil's handling of coronavirus about to get better now that Bolsonaro was talked down from firing his Health Minister?

Well, thank God he was talked down from firing his health minister. My God, the guy is incredibly competent, the health minister. He has like 75% approval ratings. He was the one thing that you look at Brazil and say, okay, well, at least they've got a competent guy in the cabinet who folks are listening to. And Bolsonaro was like, oh, he's too popular, I'm going to fire him. Well, he was talked off that ledge by a lot of people in his own administration who said, if you do that, there's going to be a move to impeach you. But Bolsonaro is intemperate, he's emotional, he doesn't like listening to folks. A little bit like some other leaders we can think about. And I don't think he's out of the woods at all because Bolsonaro is still the one who's telling his citizens, everything's fine, you don't need to go on lockdown. And as a consequence, when you look at the geo location data, you see that since Bolsonaro has been on this rant, people have been moving around a lot more. And that means a lot more people are getting the virus. The economic impact, the human impact in Brazil, going to be a lot greater.

Demography is destiny. That ominous-sounding pronouncement, credited to French philosopher Auguste Comte, is today taken to mean that a nation's fate depends on the youthfulness of its population. For a poor country to become rich, it needs lots of young people ready to work, to support those too old or too young to work, and to pay taxes. This is called the "demographic dividend."

That's an important part of China's success story. Over the past 40 years, more than one billion people have emerged from poverty in China. Waves of young people surged from the countryside into cities to work in factories. The state invested in education, and wages helped young workers, and then their children, go to school. The state also began a drive to develop the technologies of the future, by any means necessary. In China, once dirt-poor, hundreds of millions have created a middle class.

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Do we spend too much time thinking about our own carbon footprints and not enough time thinking about bigger factors? Climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert acknowledges it's necessary for individuals to make changes in the way they live, but that isn't the number one priority.

"What would you do to try to move this battleship in a new direction? It requires public policy levers. And it requires … some pretty serious legislation." Ian Bremmer spoke with Kolbert, an award-winning journalist and author and staff writer at The New Yorker, on a new episode of GZERO World, airing on US public television.

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

Not everyone thinks that President Biden's decision to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan by 9/11/21 is a good idea. Conservative Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL), a combat-decorated Green Beret with multiple tours in Afghanistan, thinks that the US still needs to maintain a small presence in the country to avoid incurring "massive risks." In a spirited discussion with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, Waltz, who served as counterterrorism advisor in the George W. Bush administration, argues, "The next 9/11, the next Pulse Night Club, which is right on the edge of my congressional district, the next San Bernardino, that's now on Biden's watch. He owns it with this decision." Their conversation is featured in the upcoming episode of GZERO World, which airs on US public television starting Friday, April 23. Check local listings.

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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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

What are the Russians up to against Ukraine?

We simply don't know, except the fact that they're concentrating a huge amount of military forces. And you don't do that for nothing or for fun. They are there for a purpose, to have pressure or to undertake limited to larger operations. We simply don't know. And when Putin delivered his State of the Union speech the other day, he didn't say a thing about this. They are now talking about withdrawing the forces. But let's wait and see. They have talked about withdrawing forces from Syria for a long time, but we haven't seen that as of yet.

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Australia rips up Belt & Road deal: Australia cancelled two 2018 deals signed between Victoria, Australia's wealthiest state, and the Chinese government, that committed the two sides to working together on initiatives under China's Belt and Road infrastructure development program. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that the agreements "were adverse to our foreign relations." Similar deals between Victoria and institutions in Iran and Syria were also abandoned by the Australian government this week, under a 2020 law that allows Canberra to nullify international agreements struck at local and state level. (Australian universities say the "foreign veto bill" amounts to "significant overreach.") Meanwhile, Beijing hit back, calling the move "unreasonable and provocative," and accusing Canberra of further stoking divisions after a series of escalatory moves by both sides that have seen China-Australia relations deteriorate to their worst point in decades. Chinese investment in Australia dropped by 62 percent last year, a massive blow for Australia's export-reliant economy.

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50: The US will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by the end of the decade. The Biden administration's commitment, double the goal set by Barack Obama almost six years ago, was announced to coincide with a virtual Earth Day climate summit attended by dozens of world leaders.

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