Covid-149

Dan O'Heirity

The American Election Remains Baffling

This morning I was reading a story from ABC News that was published yesterday November 25th, 2020. The article reported that Biden has been certified as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania and Nevada. This certification happened after weeks of legal challenges by the Trump team. Hurrah, right. Finally a bit of clarity in the farce that has been the American election. But wait a moment. Trump and his team are still fighting the Pennsylvania result with a hearing in front of the Senate Majority Policy Committee conducted by Republican State Senators. Watch this video where Trump phones into a hearing in what has been referred to as an “unhinged phone call”.

This is really no more than another chapter in the insanity that is Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. If indeed that is his aim. It might be that his aim is to be as disruptive as possible before exiting as president in order to set up a platform and popular base that will support him in whatever he does next. No matter which, it is my belief that the world is watching Trump’s antics with the view that America is now broken. Trump has fundamentally called the American democracy into question. The last point I would make that it matters not which YouTube news report you watch about Trump, the comments beneath the stories testify to the fact that he has managed to brainwash an awful lot of people.

China Continues to Be Arrogant and Dismissive of World Opinion

As reported by The Guardian, the Five Eyes Intelligence Group of Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States has called upon China to reinstate the pro-democracy members of the Hong Kong legislature who were expelled after Beijing gave authorities new powers to “quell dissent”. China reacted by saying, “any attempt by foreign states to threaten or pressure Beijing to make concessions is doomed to fail”. So, despite the fact that, China is in “clear breach of its international obligations under the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration”, Beijing’s reaction is to tell the world to back off. I conjecture that in the years to come we will see more and more of this sort attitude from Beijing and that, ultimately, Beijing will pretty much do whatever it wants globally. I know that’s a bit of a broad statement and that there are checks and balances in place in terms of, for example, countries policing the South China Sea to send a message to Beijing that it cannot do whatever it pleases. However, when push comes to shove, would countries really act if China took Taiwan?

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that Xi Jinping has been speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum where he has talked of the openness of trade and of not de-coupling China’s economy from the world economy. Apparently his speech “veered towards triumphalism” as Xi Jinping spoke about China overcoming the virus. He also “warned countries who insist on trade barriers will suffer self-inflicted wounds“. O.K. Let’s stop there for a moment. As of today, according to my preferred data source there have been 60,721,235 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide along with 1,426,843 deaths. So, China has infected over 60 million people and murdered nearly 1.5 million people and Xi Jinping is touting how amazing China is in having brought about an economic recovery and having managed to contain the virus. I don’t think that the word “contrite” is in the Chinese dictionary. Other words are likely there such as arrogant, indifferent, insensitive and uncaring. Seriously, I can not imagine any other country, with the exception of North Korea, essentially gloating after having sent a virus around the world. To finish, China this is what an empathetic response to Covid-19 looks like.

First Published November 26th, 2020

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