The corona crisis will define our era

Mike Pence bowed his head in prayer. Around him in the White House, some of the world’s most prominent scientists were gathered.

It was February 26th when the US vice-president and the scientists united in prayer, for—or, rather, against—the coronavirus epidemic. As governor of Indiana, Pence had made a name for himself driving drastic cuts in public-health funding and access to HIV-testing. This contributed to one of the largest outbreaks of the infection ever in his home state.

Since the 2016 elections, the administration of Donald Trump has slashed federal funding for pandemic prevention. The president has banned the country’s leading experts from public comment. All communication is by way of Pence.

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