Donald Trump “shows his businessman side more than an autocratic tyrant”, explains a researcher

President Trump this week called for the containment to end as soon as possible, “to get it back to normal” on April 12 if possible, to celebrate Easter.

Donald Trump “shows his businessman side more than autocratic tyrant” in the management of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Laurence Nardon, director of the North America program at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI), said on franceinfo this Sunday, who returns to this subject in his podcast this week weekly. “It proves that the president is and remains a‘ capitalist business oriented ’ : he wants the business to resume and not behave at all like an autocrat who wants to lock people up and reduce public freedoms. “

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franceinfo: How could one describe the management of the crisis in the United States? After putting things into perspective, has Donald Trump now taken the full measure of the health crisis?

Laurence Nardon : Indeed, after a moment of denial, then a moment of wavering – but many states have gone through this phase – we are witnessing a rise in power of the public power of the United States. As it is a federal state, it comes very much from the federated states and their governors. The federal administration too: we see all these people who are behind Donald Trump during his daily briefings on the issue. These are the people from the various health and safety agencies in the country. So they're all on the move now, and the president himself has taken stock of the matter, although his response is always a bit unpredictable overnight.

Donald Trump mobilizes the American industry, especially the automotive industry, to produce medical equipment. Is it historic enough?

Yes, he mobilized a law to requisition the production of companies. It is not a question of nationalizing them. But to pre-empt their production to respond to the crisis. However, this week President Trump demanded that the containment be ended as soon as possible, so that we can return to normal. He mentioned Easter Day, April 12, so it may be a little early. It proves that the president is and still remains a “business oriented capitalist”: he wants business to resume and not behave at all like an autocrat who wants to lock people up and reduce public freedoms. He shows his business side more than an autocratic tyrant.

The coronavirus is testing the American health care system, which is described as both a state-of-the-art system and also very unequal. Is it illustrated today?

Yes, completely. There are excellent hospitals, research, etc.

But it is a country which, by liberalism, by glorifying the principle of individual responsibility, has refused to set up a universal public health system, as with us with social security.Laurence Nardon, Director of the North America Program at IFRIat franceinfo

In the United States, people therefore have private insurance, which is often provided by their employer, but it is an extremely expensive system because the actors in the health chain benefit from it at all levels: doctors, hospitals, insurance, pharmaceutical companies all charge absolutely exorbitant prices which we have no idea in France. We see the very negative effects today because, since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, many American citizens did not want to go to see their doctor because it simply cost far too much for them. So, when we saw the first deaths arriving in Seattle a few weeks ago, the level of contagion of the population was already very advanced. This is also what we see in New York today. We will have to think afterwards. The presidential elections in November will be an opportunity to think about improving this system.


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