Texas/World – 13 April ’20

Trump lashes out at Dr. Anthony Fauci

President Trump publicly signaled his frustration on Sunday with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, after the doctor said more lives could have been saved from the coronavirus if the country had been shut down earlier.

Mr. Trump reposted a Twitter message that said “Time to #FireFauci” as he rejected criticism of his slow initial response to the pandemic that has now killed more than 22,000 people in the United States. The president privately has been irritated at times with Dr. Fauci, but the Twitter post was the most explicit he has been in letting that show publicly.

The pandemic has helpfully scrambled how we value everyone’s economic and social roles.

By

Mr. Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard. His forthcoming book is “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?”

Mobilizing to confront the pandemic and, eventually, to reconstruct the shattered economy, requires not only medical and economic expertise but moral and political renewal. We need to ask a basic question that we have evaded over these last decades: What do we owe one another as citizens?

In a pandemic, this question arises most urgently as a question about health care: Should medical care be accessible to all, regardless of their ability to pay? The Trump administration decided that the federal government would pay for coronavirus treatment for the uninsured. Whether it will be possible to reconcile the moral logic of this policy with the notion that health coverage in ordinary times should be left to the market remains to be seen.

But beyond the issue of health care, we need to think more broadly about the way we contend with inequality. We need to better reward the social and economic contributions of work done by the majority of Americans, who don’t have college degrees. And we need to reckon with the morally corrosive downsides of meritocracy.

Coronavirus upends Putin’s political agenda in Russia

By Daria Litvinova - AP

MOSCOW (AP) — Spring is not turning out the way Russian President Vladimir Putin might have planned it.

A nationwide vote on April 22 was supposed to finalize sweeping constitutional reforms that would allow him to stay in power until 2036, if he wished. But after the coronavirus spread in Russia, that plebiscite had to be postponed – an action so abrupt that billboards promoting it already had been erected in Moscow and other big cities.

Now under threat is a pomp-filled celebration of Victory Day on May 9, marking the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

The holiday has become the most important on Russia's calendar, and this year is the 75th anniversary, with world leaders invited to a celebration highlighting the country’s exceptional role in history. Every year, thousands gather in Moscow, including many elderly veterans proudly wearing their medals.

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