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.

This time last year, world health experts were speculating about why Africa appeared to have escaped the worst of the global pandemic. Younger populations? Natural immunity created by exposure to past viruses? Something else?

They can stop wondering. Africa is now in the grip of a COVID emergency.

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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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In his New York Times op-ed, David Brooks says the US is facing an identity crisis — protecting liberal and progressive values at home while doing little to stop autocrats elsewhere. But has the US really abandoned its values abroad just because it's withdrawing from Afghanistan? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to argue that the US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff.

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When the Tokyo Olympics begin on Friday, Japan watchers will be following more than just the performance of Japan's star athletes, including tennis star Naomi Osaka. They will also be tracking the political fortunes of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is taking a big gamble by staging the event — amid a raging pandemic — in the face of strong and longstanding opposition from the Japanese public. What are the stakes for Suga, particularly with elections on the horizon? Eurasia Group senior analyst Ali Wyne explains.

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YouTube pulls Bolsonaro's rants: Google-owned YouTube pulled down a series of videos on the channel of Brazil's populist President Jair Bolsonaro, accusing him of spreading misinformation about the pandemic. YouTube removed more than a dozen clips for touting quack cures for coronavirus or claiming, in defiance of scientific experts, that masks don't reduce COVID transmissions. Last year, Twitter and Facebook also removed some content from Bolsonaro's feeds for similar reasons. But critics say that YouTube's move is too little too late, because Bolsonaro has been spreading misinformation about COVID since the pandemic began. Many Brazilians hold him personally responsible for the country's abysmal pandemic response, which has led to almost 550,000 deaths, the second worst toll in the world. Will YouTube's move change Bolsonaro's message? His weekly address to the nation, where he converses not only with government ministers but also various conspiracy theorists and loons, is broadcast on YouTube. Surely he doesn't want to risk losing that — or does he?

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Boycotts! Bans! Protests! Drugs! Think you've got gold medal knowledge about politics at the Olympics? Test what you know with this special Tokyo Olympics Quiz. And to stay current on all the latest political stories at the Games and around the world, subscribe here to Signal, our daily newsletter. Now, without further ado, the first question is...

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28: The UK and the EU have again failed to agree on post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. In a 28-page document, the British government had suggested further changes to trade rules that were already negotiated as part of the Brexit settlement, but Brussels was not having any of it.

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