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The Tortoise of 21st-Century Great-Power Politics

Dan Drezner explores the European Union's progress in managing the COVID-19 crisis, via his Washington Post column.

A month into the pandemic, the hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts noted that “no great power is doing well right now.” The virus originated in China, then spread to the European Union and found full flower in Russia and the United States. Three months later, has anything changed?

In a word, yes. One great power is doing demonstrably worse than it was in April, and it is the United States. Unique among the great powers, the U.S. has experienced a resurgence of infections, hospitalizations and deaths during the summer months. While the initial spring response was poor, there were plenty of countries that bungled the initial response. It is the double dip of catastrophic errors where the United States is showcasing its exceptionalism, and not in a good way.

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