Why Strongmen are Losing the Fight Against Covid | The Smirking Chimp

Since Covid-19 exploded in India, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, seems more intent on controlling the news than the outbreak. On Wednesday, India recorded nearly 363,000 Covid cases and 4,120 deaths, about 30 percent of worldwide Covid deaths that day. But experts say India is vastly understating the true number. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, estimates that at least 25,000 Indians are dying from Covid each day. The horror has been worsened by shortages of oxygen and hospital beds. Yet Modi and his government don’t want the public to get the true story. One big lesson from the Covid crisis: lying makes it worse. Vladimir Putin is busily denying the truth about Covid in Russia. Demographer Alexei Raksha, who worked at Russia’s official statistical agency, Rosstat, but says he was forced to leave last summer for telling the truth about Covid, claims that the daily data in Russia has been “smoothed, rounded, lowered” to look better. Like many experts, he uses excess mortality – the number of deaths during the pandemic over the typical number of deaths – as the best indicator. “If Russia stops at 500,000 excess deaths, that will be a good scenar

Source: Why Strongmen are Losing the Fight Against Covid | The Smirking Chimp