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Jakarta Post

Transparency key as Indonesia relaxes restrictions

  • Camille Bismonte


Jakarta   /   Fri, June 19 2020   /  01:00 am
A shopper walks past a monitor showing the body temperatures of visitors at a shopping mall in West Jakarta on Wednesday. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only drastically affected the way we live our lives, but it has thrust many countries into having to decide when to transition from sheltering to reopening –sometimes precipitating harmful partisan domestic battles. By way of example, the United States and Brazil, although somewhat distinct, are both suffering greatly from COVID-19 and are considering reopening. Both are led by aggressive populists who rose to power as antielite and antiestablishment figures. Their leaders are prone to reject the opinions of scientists, promote conspiracy theories and undermine media that oppose them. Yet now they seek to avoid blame for any failure to ameliorate COVID-19 damage. By reducing the lack of public trust in the public health sector and in their governments’ administrative ability, politicians in the US and Brazil have effectively politicized the...