Premier Doug Ford of Ontario
April 9, 2020
As the old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Well, we’re certainly seeing that, in spades, around the world. President Trump is, of course, blazing the trail, not only by motivating people and being able to address a rapidly changing situation, but, I think, hammering the final nails into the coffin of the Fake News Media in the US (and probably in other countries too). It’s remarkable in a way how, in a national and international emergency, the media cannot fail to behave as the putrid partisan hacks they always are.
On the international front, the EU leadership, for want of a better name, was called to task by a Polish MEP and former Polish Ambassador to Iran, Witold Waszczykowski [here]
After spending its time idolizing teenage half-wits from Sweden who think they can foresee the future, or debating how many sexes there are, real issues, like preparations for medical emergencies and ensuring that basic protective equipment and drug therapies are left unattended. Moonbeams and unicorns rather than the daily toil of solid work. Instead,
…For decades, both the UN and the EU have been on a quest for the modern Holy Grail – sustainable development. For a couple years, Europe has been attempting to build resilience against crises such as foreign aggression, democracy deficiency and other ailments of the modern world. Unfortunately, it has failed miserably.
…After all, in recent history we have faced AIDS, SARS, Ebola, swine flu, avian flu, African swine fever, European spruce bark beetle and anthrax. As it turns out, supposed populists received more attention from European bureaucrats than critical data and resources that would protect our citizens from epidemics. It turns out that the most prosperous European states are short on respirators (such devices have been in use for almost a century), cleaning products and sanitizers. In the meantime, the only thing EU institutions are capable of is allowing their member states to loosen their fiscal belts.
About time to get real.
On a more local note, along with dealing with the medical crisis, Premier Doug Ford has announced a Jobs and Recovery Program to focus on how to restart the economy as this thing winds down. That’s one thing the politicians DO have to think about. How it works will depend very much on how the plague works, but this is something governments must be thinking about now. More importantly, it gives the folks at home something to think about and something to plan for, even if the timelines change—as they inevitably will.
Whatever prognostications the powers that be may make on the thing, remember:
“All models are wrong; some may be useful.” The models are a “maybe”; how it pans out is up to us.
[PS more on models tomorrow].