One Reason Democracies Handle Crises Better Than Authoritarians
Set aside, for the moment, the fact that the gross negligence of China got us into this mess. Once the Communist Party came around to admitting there was an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, it mobilized the state apparatus to stanch the bleeding. Tens of thousands are still sick in China, however, that effort may be paying off. Is the Chinese governance model to thank for that success? In an emergency like the coronavirus pandemic, does authoritarian rule outshine democracy?
The Communist Party certainly wants you to think so. As the growth of infections in the country has seemingly slowed, Beijing has pivoted to provisioning protective gear to Italy for a price, while its propagandists engage in a barely concealed display of schadenfreude aimed squarely at the United States. In Washington, the public reminders from the highest levels of government that the coronavirus originated in China betray a feeling of insecurity, a concern that countries around the world might conclude that the Chinese system is superior to the American system when it comes to delivering successful outcomes in a crisis.