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
In January Prime Minister Scott Morrison set a target of having 4 million Australians vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of March. Thursday marks the first day of April – and we will have missed that target by about 3.4 million people.
Source: COVID vaccine Australia: What went wrong with coronavirus shot rollout?
The Coalition Government’s failures are twofold;
1) globally, by failing to take appropriate action on climate change, ranking 57 out of 57 countries on climate change policy, yet still defending Australia’s policies as acceptable, and
2) nationally, by failing to provide and implement national, long-term strategies for prevention, preparation, management and recovery for the growing incidence and severity of natural disasters linked to climate change.
The Government’s own reports, briefings and reports demonstrate it knew about the risks posed by lack of appropriate action to mitigate the consequences of climate change, and yet it did nothing tangible at all. The Morrison Government’s multiple failures, which have arguably contributed to the loss of life, homes, communities, wildlife and over 10 million hectares, must be seen as a gross act of negligence.
via The Morrison Government’s failure to act on a predicted disaster is damning – » The Australian Independent Media Network
“Mr. Trump’s Blame List is long,” reported Peter Baker for The New York Times. “On top, of course, is Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve — never mind that Mr. Trump was the one who appointed him. Then there are the Democrats, and not to mention the news media. And on Friday, the president added American businesses to the list, arguing that struggling companies have only themselves to blame and are rationalizing their own mistakes by pointing to, just to name an example, Mr. Trump’s multibillion-dollar tariffs and America’s biggest trade war in generations.”
via Shifting Blame Is a Favorite Habit of Polluters and This President | The Smirking Chimp
Last week Peter Costello accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to develop an economic narrative to unite the Coalition. Turnbull promised this when he challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party, but, said Costello, it never came, and the result is a government struggling to manage deep differences over social issues. There was “jobs and growth”, but this is really just a goal without much of a story about how to get there, except for the company tax cuts.
The big question, though, is why the government does not have a coherent economic narrative.
One possible answer is that it has been too preoccupied with social issues such as religious freedom and before that, same-sex marriage, to give the economy sufficient attention. There is something in that.
via The Morrison government’s biggest economic problem? Climate change denial
BDS has scored “significant successes” and “impressive growth,” Israel lobby groups concede.
Source: Leaked report highlights Israel lobby’s failures | The Electronic Intifada