An Epidemic of Stupidity
Zelensky to be remembered for grisly deaths he failed to prevent
I disagree with Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Adrian Karatnycky about lots of things. When it comes to Ukraine, he reminds me of Rinat Akhmetov’s spieler, the Anders Aslund equivalent of a ticket salesman for heavily booked Yalta Economic Strategy talkathons.
But sometimes he makes good lists. Take, for example, the following paragraph in his 1,000-world op-ed, titled “Zelensky puts Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution on trial,” appearing in the Atlantic Council’s Ukraine Alert on April 14.
Kowtowing to Putin, rearranging the Cabinet and prosecuting former President Petro Poroshenko - and now Tetyana Chornovol - have indeed tarnished Zelensky’s credentials among Ukraine’s partners. But future generations of Ukrainians will likely most revile Zelensky for botching the country’s response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic.
It’s difficult to establish exactly the moment during Zelensky’s ten months as president when function lost is lustre, when churning out hopeful-sounding memes became secondary to their presentation on YouTube, when the cult of haughty ego took hold.
Perhaps it was on March 4 in the Verkhovna Rada after members of parliament approved Illia Yemets, a Yanukovych-era hack, to be the country’s new Health Minister.
The result isn't unlike a horrible accident, except it’s been caused by an unemployed actor desperate for attention and applause. You want to laugh and be entertained, but you also want to avoid becoming a COVID-19 victim and paying too much attention to the horribleness of the grisly deaths Zelensky failed to prevent.
Recall what Zelensky said on January 31 about the pandemic.