Russian President Vladimir Putin has the right idea about how to play the coronavirus pandemic with the press. Where White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the coronavirus won’t be “controlled,” Putin has declared the pandemic “under control.”
Russia experienced its highest daily number of positive tests yesterday and there are reports of bodies lined against the wall in a hospital basement.
Жуткие кадры с трупами в мешках из подвала оказались реальностью городской больницы №12. Алтайский Минздрав подтвердил.
Всё помещение заполнено трупами, а ведь это даже не морг. pic.twitter.com/1uhYm3MUqn
— Штаб Навального в Барнауле (@teamnavalny_brn) October 22, 2020
But that’s Putin’s story and he’s sticking with it.
Despite the number of new cases and deaths recorded daily being higher than in the spring, Russia’s government has thus far declined to follow some European countries that. Strict, national measures proved effective at slowing the spread of the deadly virus earlier this year, but they have taken a severe toll on both economies and societies.
“Regarding the possibility of severe, total, restrictive measures, we aren’t planning to do this. The government doesn’t have any such plans,” President Vladimir Putin said in televised remarks earlier this week.
The lockdowns didn’t work the first time. The rest of the continent is seeing a huge increase in COVID cases across the board. Putin is dealing with the reality of a pandemic that is not under control, no matter what he says.
Is his approach heartless and cruel? No doubt Nancy Pelosi would think so. But what’s becoming more and more apparent is that our puny efforts to manage the pandemic aren’t working — and that includes Europe, with the virus sweeping across the continent just as quickly as it did last spring.
That video will be mirrored in much of the world before too long.
The health ministry of the Altai region confirmed the video was authentic, saying it showed scenes from inside a dedicated coronavirus hospital in the city of Barnaul. The hospital was initially equipped with 360 beds, but as the number of COVID-19 patients grew the capacity was increased to 600 beds, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
Several hospital employees, including its head doctor and his deputy, have also contracted COVID-19.
Russia says it has developed a vaccine but has yet to mass distribute it — even to front-line workers. Whether it doesn’t work very well or is actually dangerous is unknown. But there have been few who have been vaccinated.