“The pandemic sweeping the globe has done more than take lives and livelihoods from New Delhi to New York. It is shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism — the special role the United States played for decades after World War II as the reach of its values and power made it a global leader and example to the world.” Katrin Bennhold on a story that has been accelerated by the pandemic: Sadness and Disbelief From a World Missing American Leadership.

+ The economist Jeffrey Sachs, who has worked with governments around the world, shared some thoughts with The New Yorker on what he’s seen from the administration’s leadership during the pandemic. “Trump is the worst political leader I have experienced in all of my professional life, which is forty years of working with governments at a high level. I’ve never seen anything like the narcissism of this man, and here we are, a country so rich in expertise, in resources, in capacities, and yet we’re watching a complete failure of a political response—with a massive loss of life—in real time. It’s quite shocking, because Trump not only does not know how to approach this issue but he blocks those who do.”

+ If anything, these dire and depressing analyses understate the brutal truth. Think I’m exaggerating? Reuters: Former Labradoodle breeder was tapped to lead U.S. pandemic task force. “Before joining the Trump Administration in January 2018, Harrison’s official HHS biography says, he ‘ran a small business in Texas.’ The biography does not disclose the name or nature of that business, but his personal financial disclosure forms show that from 2012 until 2018 he ran a company called Dallas Labradoodles.”