This is a rare crisis that all nations, regardless of geography and political systems, are facing simultaneously. Comparisons aren’t exact, given quirks of epidemiology, population density and different standards for tallying infections. But lessons from standout leaders could help those at the bottom of the class.
Here in the US, the virus magnified President Donald Trump’s liabilities — knee-jerk denial, spreading misinformation, spouting snake-oil treatments and blaming foreigners. There is good and bad in the US federal system, which does well in elevating local leaders but brews clashes between the states and Washington.
The pandemic embarrassed democratic, market-based systems in Europe and the US that boast they are a global model. But it also punctured the vanity of previously resurgent autocrats. If there’s a takeaway, it’s that countries that acted fast and decisively, stayed nimble and put internal political divides aside did well. But there’s no reason for anyone to gloat.