We awake to a viral video of Donald Trump poorly deflecting a barrage of questions from incited journalists over his handling of the crisis so far and in particular his controversial withdrawal of funding from the World Health Organisation. With the likes of Bill Gates openly criticising the move, insisting it is “as dangerous as it sounds”, it is understandable that the majority of Americans are concerned. Thousands of protestors opposed to the stay-at-home measures and mostly backed by wealthy right-wing groups, have taken to the streets in states like Michigan to show support for Trump’s contentious plans. In what is an unprecedented move by a sitting president, Trump himself has endorsed the civil obedience through Twitter. With public support from the President, intent on reopening the economy at any cost, the movement is likely to snowball and have far reaching consequences.
It is interesting to note that US politics doesn’t get nearly as much coverage in Spanish media as in UK because Spain isn’t as entwined with US as we are in Britain. Nevertheless, many of my students are naturally worried about the effects that widespread civil disobedience in US could have in Europe in the coming months. Very few Spanish people right now could even contemplate prioritising the economy at the expense of public health, but they acknowledge that perhaps this is a conversation that will begin to arise if the situation worsens considerably here. With far-right parties like Vox already openly echoing the words of Trump, this is a voice which will surely only grow louder in Spain.