The coronavirus pandemic reached a grim landmark last night, with more than a million confirmed cases worldwide. Almost a quarter of that number (245,000) are people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Italy and Spain account for almost another quarter of them (235,000), with China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom also having a high number of cases.
Spain has the second highest number of deaths in the world after Italy with 10,300 dead – but yesterday’s death toll was the highest of any country since the start of the pandemic.
Italy has registered an additional 760 deaths and today has nearly 14,000 deaths, the worst of all countries.
COVID-19 – the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus – originated in China at the end of last year and, in the past four months, has spread to almost every country in the world.
While experts say the disease represents the greatest global challenge since World War II, Chomsky warned that humanity will face far greater horrors than the coronavirus pandemic if we continue to leave our fate between the hands of “sociopathic buffoons”.
Speaking to Srecko Horvat, co-founder of the Movement for Democracy in Europe 2025 (DiEM25) last week, the political philosopher said that we were on the brink of disasters much worse than anything that has happened in the history of humanity: nuclear war and the deterioration of the global climate.
He said, “The coronavirus could have terrifying consequences, but there will be a cure.
“The others won’t be there: it’s over. If we don’t deal with them, we’re done. “
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The anti-war activist criticized the US government for imposing new sanctions on Iran, which he said were “deliberately designed openly to make them suffer” and to maximize the pain.
He added: “Cuba suffers from [US sanctions] from the time he gained independence.
“It is astonishing that they survived, that they remained resistant.
“One of the most ironic elements of the current coronavirus crisis is that Cuba is helping Europe.
“I mean it’s so shocking that you don’t know how to describe it.
“Germany cannot help Greece: but Cuba can help European countries.
“Just like when you see thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean, fleeing from countries that Europe has devastated for centuries and being sent to death in the Mediterranean, you don’t know which words to use.
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“The crisis of civilization in the West at this stage is devastating to think about.
“And it brings back childhood memories of listening to Hitler raving on the radio from noisy crowds worshiping him at the Nuremberg rallies.
“You start to wonder if the species is even viable. “
“Our only hope for overcoming these crises is to expand democracy.”
He added: “If we leave our fate to the sociopathic buffoons, we are finished.
“An informed, engaged and involved public taking control of their plight – if that doesn’t happen, we are doomed. “