It is a crying shame that the US, Brazil, and Russia, three technologically advanced countries, have allowed Right-Wing hacks to put the world in danger. There irresponsible non-scientific take on COVID-19 may destroy all of their economies.
The US, Brazil, and Russia have the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. All three countries are also led by men with well-documented records of pushing against science and spreading disinformation.
Public-health experts say it's not a coincidence that the coronavirus outbreaks in these countries spiraled out of control, while warning that the cavalier attitude these leaders continue to exhibit toward the pandemic could lead to even more cases and deaths.
"Science denialism and ignoring the epidemiology data early on is definitely part of the reason there is such a strikingly large epidemic in these three countries," Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Insider.
"An ostrich, head-in-ground political approach to an oncoming epidemic is the most surefire on-ramp to more infections and deaths," Feigl-Ding, who is also a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, added.
US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and Russian President Vladimir Putin all "downplayed the seriousness" of COVID-19 and "delayed for long periods before acting," Lawrence Gostin, the director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law School, told Insider.
"Undoubtedly, the response of leaders is crucial in curtailing an infectious-disease outbreak. The fact that these three leaders are highly nationalistic and have a history of rejecting science and discounting expert advice played a major role in COVID-19 running out of control in their countries," Gostin added. "And now they are pushing reopening too soon."