The British newspapers, in their print and electronic versions, dealt with many issues, the most important of which are Republicans’ fear of Trump losing the presidential elections, and the constant closure is not the solution to controlling Corona, and the Taliban expanding its influence in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American forces.
The beginning is with the Guardian newspaper and an article written by Richard Lascombe entitled “Republicans Express Fear About Trump’s Loss of the Presidential Election.”
The author notes that Republican Senator Ted Cruz fears a “bloodbath” in the election. And fellow Republican Senator Tom Tillis has always talked about the presidency of Joe Biden. Even Mitch McConnell, the leader of the fiercely loyal majority in the Senate, does not even want to approach the White House because of Donald Trump’s handling of the Corona virus protocols.
On the individual level, the author believes that they are comments that are out of the ordinary from Trump’s allies who are trying to rally support for the US president just days before the general elections, which opinion polls show that he is increasingly losing.
But collectively, along with statements from many other Republicans who appear to be distancing themselves from Trump and his administration and policies, the author believes, this reflects the growing concern within the upper echelon of the Republican Party that November 3 may be a win. Great for Joe Biden and the Democrats.
Elsewhere, according to the article, Republican dissatisfaction with Trump is becoming increasingly evident, especially among candidates running their own tight races.
McConnell’s comments about why he has not visited the White House for at least two months can be seen in a different context, given that he is 78 years old and in the same age group at risk, just as the president who is already infected.
The writer concludes his article by saying that this opposition from Trump’s strong ally had not been heard of during the four years of the presidency. McConnell’s words seem to reflect the threat that a nationwide backlash to Trump’s handling of the pandemic poses to the Republican majority in the Senate.
When will we learn from them?
And we remain in the Guardian newspaper and an article written by Professor Devi Sridhar, Head of the Department of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, entitled “Continuous lockdown is not the solution to controlling the Corona virus.”
In April, the professor says, cafes and restaurants in Vietnam opened their doors and the country was filled with life and hustle and bustle, and in July, 10,000 baseball fans attended a match at a stadium in Taiwan. In August, thousands gathered together to attend a concert at Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park in China. This month, international rugby players continue to advance in New Zealand with stadiums at full capacity.
He adds that daily life inside these places has largely returned to normal. And compared to other countries, they have faced very little economic damage. In fact, Taiwan was never locked down, while the lockdown measures in Vietnam, New Zealand and China were early, short, and drastic. Out of 1.4 billion people, China has only suffered 4,634 deaths from COVID-19. Vietnam, Taiwan and New Zealand together have had 67 cases. How are these countries keeping COVID-19 under control, their health services up and running, and their economies and societies standing by leaps and bounds?
This is the question we must all be asking, the author stresses. But instead, after seven months of this crisis, Britain is still stuck in endless cycles of lockdown measures, and its media continues to focus on paralyzed discussions about how dangerous the virus really is and what the best strategy is to treat it, the writer asks in condemnation.
From his point of view, the writer believes that Britain made a mistake in the beginning for treating Corona virus like influenza. The lockdown was delayed, initially allowing the virus to spread among the population like the common cold. Once the severity of the virus became apparent, the government wasted time and waited to see what would happen rather than imposing a lockdown.
Over the past few months, the number of cases has increased and decreased. Over the summer, Britain appeared to have crushed the curve of the virus’ spread and brought it under control. But instead of replacing harsh lockdown measures with an effective testing and tracking strategy, and switching from isolating the population to quarantining only for those who have been exposed to the virus, Britain has lifted restrictions without setting up a plan to counter the return of the virus. Meanwhile, the government has actively encouraged people to travel abroad on holidays, which means that the virus is constantly re-imported into the country, which has led to the emergence of new chains of infection when these people return.
Some argue that “this virus is practically harmless to those under the age of 55”, so if the virus only represents a threat to the elderly or those suffering from pre-existing illnesses, they argue, why not protect the vulnerable and allow anyone else to continue a normal life?
Unfortunately, the author says there are no such easy solutions. This plan might look good on the surface, but it has deep problems in practice. Not only will the people at risk be protected, but also their family members and those in regular contact with them must be protected. How to distinguish between the weak and healthy? This is not just related to age – it has been shown that Corona has worse consequences for people who are overweight, of certain races, or have previous illnesses that they may not be aware of.
The writer indicates that there is another problem, which is that immunity against the Corona virus is rapidly diminishing, and those who are infected can return to the infection. “Herd immunity” is deceptive – we have no idea whether immunity to Covid is long-term, so it is unlikely that we will reach a decision in which people who have been in isolation can safely mix with people.
Most importantly, the professor says is a robust testing, tracking and isolation system in place, in which test results are returned within 24 hours, at least 80% of people’s contacts are reached and there is a significant commitment to the 14-day isolation rule for those exposed to the virus. Strong public health guidelines are needed about avoiding the virus at any age, encouraging people to get out as much as possible, avoiding closed, crowded and poorly ventilated places, using face masks and adhering to social distancing wherever possible. Strict border measures are also needed to prevent the virus from being re-imported, in place of the current lax and poorly controlled system.
The writer concludes his article by saying that this epidemic is still in the first or second chapter. Waiting for the virus to magically disappear, allowing it to continue its path through society, or imposing continuous lockdown measures without a clear strategy that goes beyond waiting for a vaccine are all sub-optimal options and will harm public health, the economy and society. At what stage will Britain look to East Asia and the Pacific and say “We want what they have”, he asks. Suppressing the virus, opening up the economy and restoring a semblance of normality in our daily life, when will we learn from them?
“I don’t want to live here anymore”
And to the Independent newspaper and an article written by Suzanne George and Aziz Tassal entitled “The Taliban is expanding its influence in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of US forces.”
The article notes that the US military evacuated the Forward Operating Base Lightning in March, less than a month after US and Taliban leaders signed a peace agreement that led to a complete withdrawal of US forces.
But Afghan officials say the US withdrawal has had an enormous impact outside of al Qaeda. Targeted killings are on the increase, and Taliban fighters are expanding their areas of influence.
The article finds that what happened in Paktia Province, a few hours’ drive from Kabul, in the months following the departure of US forces, provides a glimpse of what may await other parts of the country as the Trump administration looks to withdraw thousands of additional troops. In the coming weeks, and possibly withdraw completely by Christmas.
The number of US forces decreased from 12,000 in February to 8,600 in July – including the closure of al-Qaeda in Paktia Province – and further cuts will come if the Taliban abides by its commitment to sever ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. .
The future of counterterrorism in Afghanistan has been a major concern for US officials for years, the article confirms, as diplomats have struggled to reach a peace deal with the Taliban. Al-Qaeda used Afghanistan as a base for planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks, which ultimately propelled the United States into nearly two decades of war. Now, many current and former US officials fear that a complete US withdrawal could lead to a power vacuum, allowing similar groups to use Afghan soil to carry out terrorism abroad.
The article notes that the number of killings has increased in Afghanistan. In the Taliban-controlled areas, the militant checkpoints have doubled. They are no longer under the constant threat of air strikes and drones, but many of these checkpoints are permanent, and their bases are clearly fortified, according to local security officials.
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