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U.S. President Donald Trump attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House U.S. President Donald Trump attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 22, 2020 (AP photo by Patrick Semansky).

Global Leadership Is in Quarantine Just When It Is Needed Most

Monday, March 23, 2020

President Donald Trump has been pilloried for jeopardizing thousands of American lives through his delayed domestic response to COVID-19. His failure of global leadership, however, has been equally glaring. Rather than rallying other nations in a collective effort, he has doubled down on his “America First” instincts, as if a purely national approach could defeat a global pandemic.

The contrast with his immediate predecessors is stark. In the depths of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama both spearheaded a multilateral response that helped rescue the world economy. Trump’s disastrous unilateralism, on the other hand, exposes the limits of nationalism in an era of shared threats. It also underscores the pressing need for a standing global coalition akin to the G-20 to galvanize international cooperation during global public health emergencies, alongside existing entities like the World Health Organization. ...

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