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If one wanted to be generous, one could argue that the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 outbreak means that government reactions by definition have to involve an element of trial and error.

When the history of this outbreak is written, no country’s leadership will emerge with a perfect pass record. China tried to suppress the seriousness of the outbreak, the UK experimented with a “herd immunity” strategy, seemingly so convinced of its own exceptionalism that it was unmoved by death on an unimaginable scale among its neighbours. And then there is the US and Donald Trump — from the disease being a hoax to treatments using malaria tablets and most outrageously, disinfectants. ..

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