Ambassador Curtis Ward, a US based attorney and former Jamaican representative at the UN Security Council, spoke with Earl Moxam, host of Radio Jamaica's Sunday news review show, That's a Rap, on March 29 about the coronavirus pandemic. They also discussed the recent indictment of Venezuela's president, Nicolas Maduro, by the United States on drug trafficking charges.
Moxam asked him first for an overview of how governments across the world have been responding:
CW: One of the major challenges that I see with the coronavirus is that there's so much that is unknown at the start, yet there was so much that could have been done to curb its impact on our societies. But so many governments were slow to react that it has taken hold and really went out of control, with significant impact on human lives, human social behavior, and certainly the economies of all countries on the globe, and it will take some time to get back to a normal situation.
EM: The United States is clearly not alone in terms of being slow off the mark, but focusing specifically on some of the failures from the White House and elsewhere within the American system, would you say that this has clearly demonstrated a lack of leadership with consequences far beyond the confines of America itself?
CW: There's no question that when the global community is faced with an international crisis, especially one of this magnitude, the leadership of the United States is an imperative. In this particular case, instead of leading, the United States even failed to follow certainly protocols, and there's no question that there's a failure of leadership in Washington, which is quite unusual for how the United States generally reacts to global crises and if we go back not too many years ago, the significant impact that the United States Government had on curbing and containing the Ebola crisis. So, there's no question about the failure in Washington to react to this crisis.
Please click on the audio icon above to access the entire interview.