Well, there’s a lot here to unpack…..
“Those who aren’t in power, such as rightwing journalists, realize their neoliberal ideology is unequipped to deal with the pandemic, and therefore is under attack,” Mastracci writes.
I don’t know this Mastracci, but he starts out in error. It is fundamentally incorrect to view a pandemic event from a political lens. It’s hubris; it makes politics out to be more powerful than nature, which is nonsense, prima facie.
“They won’t abandon their views, so they have to shift blame to an outside country with an ideology that is different in the right way. Attacking China clearly serves this purpose, and offers a chance for anti-communism, which, as Parenti notes, people have been primed to hate for more than a century.”
I have no doubt that this is a portion of the cause of the response, but it deflects from the most important question, which is DID CHINA ENGAGE IN BEHAVIORS OR PUT OUT PROPAGANDA WHICH RESULTED IN LESS PREPAREDNESS OUTSIDE OF ITS BORDERS?
That’s the bottom line, folks. Not what the “rightwing journalists” said or didn’t say. or what any “neoliberal ideology” thinks it must do to cover up its (alleged) errors, such as they exist.
It’s worthwhile here to immerse yourself in statistics which compare countries in terms of case spread and mortality. One quickly finds that there is no statistically significant difference between nations with a critical mass of cases in their mortality rates. To wit:
And if you try to interpret this in terms of “preparation”…….sorry, looks pretty random to me. Are we to believe that Malaysia and Russia have better health care systems, or were “more prepared” than the Dutch, French, or Swedes?
This leads us to one of two conclusions. Either (a) we ALL fucked up, or (b) there was really no way to mitigate this crisis at the macro level.
And if EITHER of those are true, then the next logical question is “OK, what happened at the SOURCE? If we can’t prevent a viral agent from ravaging the world, can we prevent the viral agent from starting?”
And if there’s a political entity that is making that prevention difficult, either through their own internal politics, or their own xenophobic instincts…..sorry, it is entirely apropos to demand a pound of their flesh.
Much of what we’re hearing from leading Republican and Democratic Party pundits these days can be accurately translated as a wailing temper tantrum about their entire worldview crashing to an embarrassing faceplant in front of the whole world.
Embarrassed…..for what? Let’s look at the same statistics on a per capita basis:
So, in this chart, the size of the box shows how many diagnoses you have, per capita. The color of the box shows how many deaths you have, per capita. So, to keep it simple, you want your box to be small and white; if it’s big and red, that’s bad.
Being an American, I’d love to see our box be smaller and whiter. But I’m really glad it’s not bigger and redder.
(I find the notion of being “embarrassed” regarding the response to a pandemic event to be an odd one, but let’s move on. )
But even that doesn’t really cover it.
If you ask a leftist ….. If you ask a rightist….. If you ask someone who occupies the mainstream so-called “center”….
How about if we acknowledge that people of good character (which doesn’t include any politicians or pundits, IMHO) simply want to know if it can be prevented, and leave it there?