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How governments in the West failed to learn

Sobering reading from Simon Wren-Lewis, with graphs showing just how badly most of Europe is dealing with Covid-19.

You would think, after so many countries were taken by surprise by a pandemic caused by a new virus in the Spring of this year, these countries would resolve to never let it happen again. They would be mad, knowing what they now know, to let cases explode in a similar manner to they did earlier this year. In what we call the West we like to think we have reasonably rational governments that listen to expert advice on matters of life and death.

Well at least some of us thought that. I am prepared to make an exception of the UK and US. The UK is run by fantasists who thought we would hold all the cards in any negotiations with the EU and there would be sunlit uplands. These are the kind of people who would be quite happy to ignore experts. Some of them are even busy right now promoting a kind of death cult. The US is run by someone who only thinks of himself. I could make an exception in both these cases.

I have extended family in Italy, and it’s disheartening to see that they’re not almost matching the UK in daily confirmed cases.

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