February 16, 2020 11:40 AM NPT
By: Ngaire Woods
OXFORD – Before the coronavirus exploded into the news, a report by the World Health Organization warned that the world was not prepared for “a fast-moving, virulent respiratory pathogen pandemic” that could kill 50-80 million people, cause panic and instability, and seriously affect the global economy and trade. The experience of the last 200-plus years has shown that only governments acting in concert can effectively fight such a pandemic—and even then, only with the trust and compliance of their citizens. This points to three challenges facing political leaders in the fight against the new coronavirus, now known as COVID-19.
OXFORD – The United States and some of its allies have acted decisively to exclude the Chinese technology company Huawei from their national markets, yet they continue to ignore the similar threat posed by Facebook and other US digital giants. Democratic governments must now be equally decisive in dealing with this home-grown danger.
OXFORD – Elections and referenda are just two ways for people to have a say in how they are governed. Protesting is another, which is why rights of assembly and free speech are protected in most democracies.