• Jun Park

Covid-19 - How are the Strongmen doing?

On Wednesday April 13, 2020, Forbes published an article of the how the best coronavirus responses have been led so far by women leaders. So good has been their response that they have verifiable numbers that are the envy of the rest of the world. At the end of the article, there was a slight nudge towards strongmen and how contrasting their responses has been. Lets take a closer look at Donald Trump (USA), Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil), Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines), Andres Manuel Obrador (Mexico), Narendra Modi (India), Vladimir Putin (Russia), in the similar format.


All the leaders in this list have a couple of things in common, but one of the most concerning of them all is that they all have a very "special" relationship with the truth. They are masters and experts in pointing out other's mistakes but they never are anything less than perfect. The U.S.A. is going through a particular hard time as they have become the center of the pandemic, with New York as the center of the pandemic. The President's relationship with the media is contentious at best, and after grueling questioning in press conferences directly held by the President, it has been clear that the relationship between the government and media is tough, and there is a strong lack of leadership as states plan their individual responses to the pandemic.

Other countries now reflect a more sincere and grim outlook at their situation, with India enforcing and now extending a nationwide lock-down, and just recently Putin indicating that the situation in Russia is severe, only after confirming that everything was in control just one week ago denying any real problem was present.

But then you have countries like Brazil, were the President Bolsonaro is at odds with most expert recommendations and local authorities. The magnitude of Bolsonaro's reluctance to quarantine and lock-down the country is only more complex as its country surpasses the 1,300 deaths.

Without testing, which most strongmen were late to start, we can't know the whole truth.


A lot of technology today is about testing, respirators, or the channels of information that they use. But testing has been the real way to controlling the epidemic in many countries. However, all strongmen by taking on the virus late, have been all caught with a certain degree of sudden surges of hospitalization. The U.S. being the most worst hit country in the world, their testing has been ramping up 100,000 per day. but the growth of the testing has stalled.

However, again Brazil daily testing at around 6,700, considered extremely low considering the amount of people that they have. Russia is now starting to take serious the Coronavirus after President Putin gave a very sobering declaration about the situation, after reaching over 2,000 new daily infected cases reported, and 148 deaths. It says it has conducted 1.3 million tests.

We need to point out that there have been episodes, for example where President Bolsonaro had to apologize for sharing a fake video of a supposed way to combat and kill the Coronavirus (you can't). There has been also controversial use of social media to spread fake news from everything ranging from cures, treatment, homemade remedies, empty stores, and many other. The technology today being developed to track and enable smartphones to become a tool to trace infections seem to be a realistic way for developed countries.


Well, strongmen aren't known for their love, but they do generate attention with their show of strength, force, and decisive decisions with a cold hearts, creating a strong and arduous group of followers. So, this is how these strongmen show their "love".

In the Philippines, the choice of President Duterte to lockdown was with a strong soldier-enforcement. With 3,870 confirmed Covid-19 cases, extended on April 7th, has the soldiers with a "shoot to kill" order for lockdown violators. A very extreme form of what his followers would call tough love.

President Trump yesterday had a grilling press conference where he should his form of love by attacking the media and unleashing criticism without taking any responsibility for the choices that have made and what it has cost the country, currently the epicenter of the pandemic. Trump has been quick to assign blame to everyone else, the WHO, Fauci, China, and the media itself, everyone, except himself. And his followers, agree with him.

It's a very grim, but there is hope that not all this strongmen are lost. Here's the link again so you strongmen can see how the lady leaders have faced this crisis successfully.