COVID-19 and U.S. Global Leadership


Melanie, Zack, and Chris unpack why the United States has failed to contain the novel coronavirus. Most blame poor leadership in the United States — from the White House to public health officials and down to key figures in the media during the earliest stages of the disease. A more focused effort, sooner, as was implemented in many other developed countries, might have worked. But some see a deeper problem — American exceptionalism, especially an unwillingness to learn from the others’ approaches.

If the United States does not turn things around soon, and demonstrate its capacity for solving the pandemic, will U.S. allies and partners be as willing to follow its leadership on a range of other problems? What will be the lasting effects of COVID-19 on the global order, and America’s place in it?

Grievances are aired for Tucker Carlson, the House Armed Service Committee, and the Russians — and the Americans who excuse or ignore their behavior. Zack praises the Washington professional football team for its impending name change, and Chris praises the House and Senate Armed Services Committees for planning to do the same for U.S. military bases. Melanie gives a shout out to the Australians for a serious defense strategy and offers warm and heartfelt congratulations to her niece Kaylee for getting accepted to a top medical school — and to her mom (Melanie’s sister) for helping to set up her three daughters for success.