Fintan O’Toole: Why does the West not have the humility to learn from Asia's Covid success?

Racism has blinded us from learning how Asian countries save their citizen's lives

The Isle of Man has three times as many deaths from Covid-19 as Taiwan – in absolute numbers. Photograph: iStock

The Isle of Man has three times as many deaths from Covid-19 as Taiwan – in absolute numbers. Photograph: iStock

Maybe when this is all over, we can address one of the great questions that hangs over responses to the pandemic in the West. It is the question of racism – not just the overt kind, but also the more subtle way that assumptions about ethnic difference shape our collective attitudes.

Why, to put it bluntly, have we been so reluctant to learn from the Asian countries that have managed the pandemic best? Because, somehow, they’re not like us? Has it been more important to maintain that distinction than to save our own lives?

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