Argument

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, waves as he attends a gathering of Basij militia forces in Tehran on Nov. 26, 2007.

The Coronavirus Won’t Kill the Islamic Republic

The pandemic hit Iran harder than almost anywhere—but may have strengthened the regime’s hard-liners.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (left), the director-general of the World Health Organization, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 28.

How WHO Became China’s Coronavirus Accomplice

Beijing is pushing to become a public health superpower—and quickly found a willing international partner.

U.S. soldiers wearing gas masks wait for orders during a chemical warfare exercise in Yeoncheon near the North Korea-South Korea border on Feb. 26, 2003.

America’s Pandemic War Games Don’t End Well

One simulation of an uncontrolled disease outbreak concluded with riots and the National Guard on the streets.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi are greeted by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa

Coronavirus Has Started a Censorship Pandemic

Governments around the world are banning fake news about the crisis—and cracking down on their critics while they’re at it.

A construction site of a new COVID-19 hospital outside Moscow

For Now, China Has Forgiven Russia for Rebuffing It Over the Coronavirus

Moscow closed the border and banned Chinese citizens in an attempt to stop the pandemic. Now, Beijing has reached out a hand by sending medical aid to Russia.

Female inmates in Brazil

The World’s Most Dangerous Coronavirus Lockdowns

As some democracies try to lesson the pandemic’s effect on prison populations, dictatorships around the world are doing the opposite.

A man and his family walk past closed vegetable stalls.

The Coronavirus Could Topple Governments Around the World

The coronavirus pandemic might not disrupt politics in wealthy Western democracies, but it is likely to unleash political instability—and even regime change—in developing countries already suffering from an economic crisis.

A monitor displays a patient's vital signs in the intensive care unit at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney on March 9, 2007.

Coronavirus and the End of Economics

Why standard economic theories have no answers for this kind of crisis.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomes Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Coronavirus and the Dawn of Post-Democratic Europe

Hungary has used the pandemic to abandon its last vestiges of democracy—and to dare the EU to do anything about it.

From left: Chinese President Xi Jinping; He Lifeng, the chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission; Italian Labor and Industry Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio; and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attend a signing ceremony following their meeting at Villa Madama in Rome on March 23, 2019.

China Isn’t Helping Italy. It’s Waging Information Warfare.

The populist Five Star Movement has become China’s chief enabler as Beijing spreads disinformation about the origins of the coronavirus while sending aid shipments to EU countries where it seeks influence.

Doctors in New York test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for COVID-19.

The U.S. Government Must Prepare Now for the Next Pandemic

Trump botched the coronavirus response. The United States cannot make the same mistake again.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Narendra Modi’s Sisyphean Quest for Global Coronavirus Cooperation

India’s prime minister is pushing for a regional response while facing a growing crisis at home.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up tweets from Google

Google Wants Your Data in Exchange for a Coronavirus Test

Public health shouldn’t mean surrendering privacy to Silicon Valley.

President Xi Jinping arrives at a meeting of the National People's Congress

China Will Do Anything to Deflect Coronavirus Blame

Don’t mistake different messages for division within the party.

Palestinian painters work on a mural to draw attention to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on March 28.

It’s Up to Israel to Stop a Coronavirus Catastrophe Among Palestinians

The Palestinian health care system has been held back by military occupation and is unprepared for the coronavirus onslaught. Israel must act swiftly.

A military patrol walks past the empty Louvre Pyramid in Paris on March 28. The country has introduced fines for people caught violating its nationwide lockdown measures intended to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Authoritarianism in the Time of the Coronavirus

The pandemic offers dictators—and democracies alike—an opportunity for abuse.

A group of migrant workers and laborers walk toward Uttar Pradesh as the nationwide lockdown continues over the coronavirus.

Social Distancing Is a Privilege

For a daily laborer in Mumbai, staying home means “my children and my wife will die.”

A quarantine official checks the temperature of a Chinese medical expert in Cambodia

Cambodia’s Leaders Line Up a Coronavirus Scapegoat

Hun Sen needs somebody to blame for the impending disaster.

A sign that reads "You can't stay home if there is no home"

When Home Is More Dangerous Than the Coronavirus

Lockdowns are leaving domestic violence victims worldwide trapped with abusers.

Wembley Way is seen thanking the NHS

Today’s Coronavirus Anger Can Revive Tomorrow’s Welfare State

Under the right conditions, social frustration can herald the dawn of new political solidarity.

Using a lantern to preserve the Olympic flame

Japan Hopes for a Post-Coronavirus Olympics

The cancellation is another blow to a battered economy as virus numbers creep up.

A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the flag of the Islamic State.

Self-Isolation Might Stop Coronavirus, but It Will Speed the Spread of Extremism

Millions of people stuck at home will turn to social media, where disinformation is rife. Radical Islamists and far-right groups are exploiting widespread confusion and fear to spread hate.

A notice (L) on the entrance door of a Chinese residential building on March 4 reads "protect yourself" next to a government propaganda poster.

Don’t Kick China’s Propagandists Off Twitter

Beijing is using a social media platform it blocks to spread misinformation on the virus.

A street vendor sits next to banners of the presidential candidate for the National Unity and Alliance for Change party (APNU+AFC) David Granger, in Georgetown, Guyana, on March 1, 2020.

Ethnic Conflict Threatens Democracy in Guyana

The country’s simmering ethnic tensions threaten to undermine a fragile democratic system and bring on the resource curse before the proceeds from massive offshore oil discoveries arrive.

An American propaganda poster from World War II.

The Coronavirus War Economy Will Change the World

When societies shift their economies to a war footing, it doesn’t just help them survive a crisis—it alters them forever.

A passenger wearing a face mask as a protective measure looks at two police officers  at the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport in Barajas on March 20, 2020.

How Governments Got Their Quarantine Powers

If you're locked inside, thank the British Empire for the laws that make it possible.

A nurse in a hazmat suit

This Vaccine Could Save Health Care Workers’ Lives Now

Clinical evidence suggests the BCG vaccine may provide vital protection against the coronavirus.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

The Untold Story of How Iran Botched the Coronavirus Pandemic

The government learned early on about the outbreak—but, from a combination of cynicism and ideology, decided not to do anything about it.

A street hairdresser cuts the hair of a customer as he wears a protective facemask as prevention for the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in-front of a propaganda poster on a street in Beijing on February 26, 2020.

China Is Trying to Rewrite The Present

Beijing’s propaganda blitz seeks to obscure the origins of the coronavirus.

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