Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
Frank Bernheisel
Posted 1.1.21
Just Outside Washington



The linked video is a Politics & Prose bookstore interview of Fareed Zakaria by Samantha Power of his new book: Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World. Fareed Zakaria is a CNN host, author, and has a weekly column in the Washington Post. Samantha Power held positions in the Obama Administration, including Ambassador to the United Nations. Their discussion, which takes an hour, focuses on the nature of a post-pandemic world: the political, social, technological, and economic impacts that may take years to unfold, including climate change.

They cover the failure of America in addressing covid-19 and contrasts that with Taiwan and South Korea who quickly contained the virus without totalitarian tactics applied in Xi's China.

Zakaria points out that the next virus could be even worse because of our production and development practices.

Also, to manage future challenges America needs a less fragmented and gridlocked government bureaucracy to cope with health threats, and he calls for more honesty and empathy from scientists and even more migration of our work and social lives onto the internet.

Their discussion covers the distrust of government beginning with the Reagan Administration and the hollowing out of the capabilities that we need. A prime example is the IRS performs fewer audits than it did 30 years ago.

Zakaria celebrates America's resilience, which he says gains strength through chaos and crises. He also downplays the idea that despots like China's Xi Jinping do better than democratic leaders pointing out covid-19's leap around the world was due to China's suppression of lifesaving data. Also, that authoritarian regimes including Khamenei's Iran, Erdogan's Turkey, and Bolsonaro's Brazil, ruled did badly.

The democracies did not succumb to authoritarianism to address covid-19, but neither is there any clear pattern. Before this last wave, Germany, Denmark, and Austria performed best, Belgium, Sweden and the United Kingdom worst. Taiwan and South Korea quickly contained the virus without totalitarian tactics. The United States has the highest number of covid-19 cases and is so-so, thirteenth in deaths per thousand.\

So, what lessons can we learn?

What matters is not the ideological coloration of government or its size, but its quality, Zakaria says. He argues for a competent, well-functioning, trusted state.

The United States has proved neither competent nor cohesive.

It consists of some 2,600 federal, state, and local authorities charged with health policy, which provide very high-quality care but only for the few who can pay the highest prices.

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World covers topics from globalization and threat-preparedness to inequality and technological advancement, Zakaria creates a structure for readers to begin thinking beyond the immediate impacts of COVID-19. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present, and future, and provides some guidance about how we solve some of the problems that have led to the pandemic. fareed-zakaria administrations-major-environmental-deregulations/?utm_campaign= Brookings%20Brief&utm_medium=email&utm_content=103152261&utm_source= hs_email