Samantha Power blasts 'saddest form of US leadership' in coronavirus outbreak

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Samantha Power, the former ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, attacked President Trump's administration for its empty-vessel response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Power tweeted: “The saddest form of US leadership: ‘More than 840,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and at least 46,784 have died from it, more than anywhere else in the world.’”

The tweet linked to an article out of Europe from The New York Times.

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The article’s headline is “‘Sadness’ and Disbelief From a World Missing American Leadership.” The story is about: “The coronavirus pandemic is shaking bedrock assumptions about U.S. exceptionalism. This is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking for Washington to lead.”

It claims: “Today it is leading in a different way: More than 840,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and at least 46,784 have died from it, more than anywhere else in the world.”

The article continues: “And in the United States, it has exposed two great weaknesses that, in the eyes of many Europeans, have compounded one another: the erratic leadership of Mr. Trump, who has devalued expertise and often refused to follow the advice of his scientific advisers, and the absence of a robust public health care system and social safety net.”

The coronavirus has killed nearly 190,000 people worldwide, including more than 100,000 in Europe and about 47,000 in the United States, according to a tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University from official government figures.

Unemployment in the U.S. has swelled to levels last seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s, with 1 in 6 American workers — or roughly 26 million — thrown out of a job by the coronavirus.

More than 4.4 million laid-off Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the government said Thursday.

Samantha Power, the former ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, attacked President Trump's administration for its empty-vessel response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Samantha Power, the former ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, attacked President Trump's administration for its empty-vessel response to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Reuters)

In all, roughly the population of the 10 biggest U.S. cities combined have now filed for jobless aid in five weeks, an epic collapse that has raised the stakes in the debate over how and when to ease the shutdowns of factories and other businesses.

The seriousness, efficiency and precision of Germany’s government may have eased the country’s burden when the coronavirus pandemic eventually spread there.

Derided by many economists for years for insisting on a balanced budget and criticized for a health care system seen as bloated and overly expensive, the country led by Chancellor Angela Merkel has found itself well equipped now to weather the global tragedy.

Already applauded for early actions such as social-distancing regulations and aggressive testing, which were seen as helping keep the death toll comparatively low, Europe’s largest economy has had the financial flexibility to launch a massive rescue plan to help businesses and keep workers paid.

Germany has registered some 150,000 infections.

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Power has recently condemned Trump’s decision to cut funding to the World Health Organization, arguing that it was hypocritical and an attempt to deflect from the administration's failures during the coronavirus pandemic.