The coronavirus pandemic reached a grim landmark yesterday evening, with more than one million cases confirmed worldwide. Almost a quarter of that number (245,000) are people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Italy and Spain make up nearly another quarter between them (235,000), with China, Germany, France and the UK also having a high number of cases.
On Thursday, Spain’s death toll rose above 10,000 after a record 950 people died overnight.
Spain has the world’s second-highest number of deaths after Italy at 10,300 – but yesterday’s one-day toll is the highest for any country since the start of the pandemic.
Italy recorded 760 more deaths, and now has a total of almost 14,000 – the worst of any nation.
COVID-19 – the respiratory illness that is caused by the coronavirus – originated in China late last year and, over the past four months, has spread to almost every country in the world.
While experts say the disease represents the biggest global challenge since World War 2, Mr Chomsky warned humanity will face much greater horrors than the coronavirus pandemic if we continue to leave our fate in the hands of “sociopathic buffoons”.
Speaking with Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) co-founder Srecko Horvat last week, the political philosopher said we are racing to the edge of disasters far worse than anything that has happened in human history: nuclear war and global climate breakdown.
He said: “The coronavirus could have terrifying consequences, but there will be recovery.
“The others there won’t be: it’s finished. If we don’t deal with them, we’re done.”
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The anti-war activist blasted the US government for imposing further sanctions on Iran, which he said were “consciously designed openly to make them suffer” and to maximise pain.
He added: “Cuba’s been suffering from [US sanctions] from the moment it gained independence.
“It’s astonishing that they’ve survived, that they’ve stayed resilient.
“One of the most ironic elements of today’s coronavirus crisis is that Cuba is helping Europe.
“I mean this is so shocking that you don’t know how to describe it.
“Germany can’t help Greece: but Cuba can help European countries.
“Just as when you see thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean, fleeing from countries Europe has devastated for centuries and being sent to their deaths in the Mediterranean, you don’t know what words to use.
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“The civilisational crisis in the West at this point is devastating to think about.
“And it does bring up childhood memories of listening to Hitler raving on the radio to raucous crowds adoring him at the Nuremberg rallies.
“One begins to wonder if the species is even viable.”
“Our only hope for overcoming these crises is to expand democracy.”
He added: “If we’re leaving our fate to sociopathic buffoons, we’re finished.
“An informed, engaged, involved public taking control of their fate — if that doesn’t happen, we’re doomed.”
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