‘How can America recover from its Trump-induced trauma?’
Your digest of analysis and commentary from the British and international press
Editorial board of the Los Angeles Times
How can America recover from its Trump-induced trauma?
“Perhaps the worst damage was to the truth. With his continual lies, Trump created a world with seemingly no objective reality. How many votes he got, where a hurricane was heading, how many people were employed, how big his tax cuts were - the answers weren’t determined by facts, they were whatever he said they were. The mistruths came so fast and with such abandon that most people couldn’t begin to keep track, which meant they often were amplified on social media and accepted by much of the public. Even just seeing honesty and respect for truth return to the White House will take a period of adjustment. Trump damaged America and the world, but one of his biggest tricks of all: he damaged us, conservative and liberal both, more than we realized.”
Holly Baxter in The Independent
From Bernie’s mittens to Mike Pence’s alien hands, the inauguration was a joy and Trump must be furious
on the ceremony guest list
“Everyone who’s anyone was at the ceremony proper. There was Hillary and Bill, Bill’s nose hanging out of his face covering, because of course. There were the Obamas, immaculate as usual. George W Bush wandered in with an American flag mask and waved a leather-gloved hand when he saw Barack and Michelle. Mike Pence came in as proxy for his petulant running-mate, holding his wife Karen’s hand as if he was an alien who recently arrived on Earth and only read the theory book on human behaviour. Perhaps most gloriously, Bernie Sanders arrived amid a sea of thousand-dollar coats and expensive suits and dresses in his puffy grey-brown jacket, a regulation medical mask and a pair of hand-knitted mittens.”
George Monbiot in The Guardian
We’re about to see a wave of long Covid. When will ministers take it seriously?
on hidden suffering
“Perhaps to a greater extent than at any point since the first world war, we find that our lives do not matter to those who govern us. Boris Johnson scarcely seeks to disguise his insouciance and callousness. He scarcely mentions the astonishing death toll caused by his mishandling of the pandemic: to acknowledge it would be to acknowledge his responsibility. But not only the dead are missing from his moral atlas. So are those with long-term conditions caused by Covid-19. They are likely, already, to number in the tens of thousands. If Johnson eases restrictions when most older people have been vaccinated, there could be tens of thousands more.”
David Aaronovitch in The Times
Vaccine passports are vital for our futures
on ‘get-out-of-jail-free cards’
“For me it would be glorious. I’d get my jab in late February and a matter of weeks later I’d see my vaccination status downloaded to my phone, to sit alongside Apple Pay, the NHS Covid app and the various items in my digital wallet. I would already have received notification from Tottenham Hotspur, the National Theatre, my favourite restaurants and Heathrow airport telling me that on production of my proof of vaccination status I am welcome back through their doors - although I’d have to hope that the National has worked something out for its younger actors too, or else it’ll be Ian McKellen playing opposite Judi Dench in a decidedly veteran production of Antony and Cleopatra. But I’m not quibbling. I would benefit and the economy would benefit. And as the vaccination rolled out further, so the crowds around me would grow.”
Oliver Brown in The Sydney Morning Herald
What is the point of a half-baked Olympics?
on a ‘gutted shell’
“If we do not see the best at their best, then the Olympics' founding principles would cease to apply. It is a possibility that should keep the suits in Lausanne awake at night. And yet it does not deprive them of half as much sleep as the prospect of all those lost broadcast and sponsorship contracts, or a potential hit to the Japanese economy of over £10 billion. With this in mind, it remains probable that a much-streamlined Olympics will be preserved. It is a source of much sadness, though, to imagine sport's grandest feast reduced to a gutted shell. Tokyo was poised to deliver a wonderful Games, with all the fiendish logistics managed with polish and vibrancy.”