Anyone who would have predicted six months ago that respiratory masks would one day become the most sought-after product on the world market would have been laughed at. At best. But the corona crisis has changed the world. The pandemic is turning everything upside down, even Donald Trump’s America First policy.
So far, the US president has sought to close the United States’ huge trade deficit, limit imports, and promote exports. But now the strategy of export has become a strategy of maximizing imports.
Because Trump has denied the dangers of the new corona virus until it was too late, the US government is desperately trying to bring protective masks into the country. Every means seems to be right for that.
The USA is said to have intercepted 200,000 respirator masks from the US manufacturer 3M at Bangkok Airport in Thailand, which, according to the German description, were intended for the Berlin police. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller accuses Trump of “inhumane” and “unacceptable” behavior.
The White House rejects the allegations, but similar allegations come from France and Canada. In fact, the United States has activated a Korean War law that authorizes the government to interfere with US companies’ supply relationships. “As long as we don’t have too much,” the United States will not stop hoarding protective equipment, US media cite an American top official.
Trump is fighting for his position
With its panic purchases, the United States is not only beleaguering its closest allies. They also document the tragic loss of their moral authority. The All-Mine Doctrine is not an expression of power, but a sign of uncertainty.
Trump, the raven sock at the top of the state, is not concerned with such relationships. He is fighting for his political survival. America has become the epicenter of the pandemic because it failed to prepare the country for the wave of infections, instead mocking the warnings of experts as “fancies”. The virus and the thousands of deaths it claims in the United States will be linked to its name forever.
However, the outraged reactions of German politicians to the behavior of the US government are difficult to bear. Trump uses funds that Germany has also used. One of the first measures taken by the federal government in the corona crisis was to impose an export ban on medical protective equipment. Urgent requests from Italians to deliver relief supplies have been ignored by the federal government for far too long. The damage is great.
Mask nationalism offers no way out of the crisis, on the contrary, it makes it worse. A virus that knows no borders is either contained by global cooperation. Or not.
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