One interesting thing I observed is that there doesn’t seem be any discernible ideological pattern to the decisiveness/quality of Corona responses across the world.
Trump and Bolsonaro have performed atrociously, dismissing Corona as a hoax or a nothingburger before switching to proclaiming its too late to do anything anyway and “What About The Line”, before submitting to reality/becoming ignored by his own governors, respectively. Ironically, their policies – if they were/are followed through to their natural conclusion – will, first and foremost, most negatively impact on their own ageing, less-educated electoral bases.
However, when “right-wing populists” are mentioned in global politics discussions, other names that usually come to mind (quibbles aside) are Modi, Orban, and Putin. Modi has ordered India into a 21 day lockdown, even though – arguably – the relative benefits to lower income nations doing this are far lower than for First World nations. Bold political moves aside, Hungary’s response was nothing out of the ordinary by East European standards, which are so far coping far better with their epidemics than Western Europe. Contra Western propaganda, Russia’s response has been relatively competent as well.
Mexico’s President has been encouraging his compatriots to go out into the streets, hug each other, and visit the shops and restaurants. And he has also been very forthright about practicing what he preaches, declining to use hand sanitizer and making various bizarre remarks (e.g. “El Chapo protects me”).
Belarus is one of the last countries in Europe with open borders and absolutely no quarantines. Based Potato Dictator: “It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.” At least they’re testing quite widely (23,000).
European and American libs were agitating against “racist” and/or “ineffective” travel bans, engaging in Mask Denial, and decrying China’s “totalitarian” quarantine measures. Meanwhile, the more outright neoliberal wings posited implausibly law predictions of ultimate Corona deaths (libertarian think-tanker Richard Epstein initially predicted 500 deaths, before revising it to 5,000; too bad he was initiatially the White House’s main authority on the subject) or even offered to sacrifice themselves up in service of the Line (amusingly, one 28 year old had to cash in within three days).
At the political level, their main representatives were the UK, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Their initial plan was one of attaining “herd immunity” while doing minimal mitigation, letting the coronavirus roll through their populations. At least the Brits rapidly backed away from that plan when they realized that their models didn’t include a term for ventilators, and the Netherlands followed soon after (though Sweden is still going strong).
That said, again, no definitive pattern. For instance, low-tax, low-business regulation, and pro-Western Estonia and Georgia have both been doing very well – not to mention a whole bunch of low-tax, free trade enterprepots in East Asia.
OK, there’s one obvious to poor performance: East Asian states run on MATH (TM). And some other not entirely minor details, like experience with SARS and a bunch of other epidemics, cultural acceptance of masks, etc.