On April 3rd, the governor of Kamchatka, Vladimir Ilyukhin, resigned due to his disagreement with how the COVID-19 situation was being handled.
He was criticized by the head of Rospotrebnadzor and United Russia for insufficient measures to combat the coronavirus. He became the fourth resigned governor in a day.
The head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova at a meeting of the Council of the Far Eastern Federal District said that “the Kamchatka Territory, in the presence of six testing instruments and the ability to conduct 600 studies per day, did not produce and did not request a single test system from Rospotrebnadzor”.
Popova also criticized the Khabarovsk Territory, which is led by LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) representative Sergei Furgal.
On April 1st, a statement was made by Deputy Secretary General of United Russia Evgeny Revenko, who named a number of regions whose measures to combat coronavirus are insufficient. Revenko named five such regions: the Republic of Komi, the Arkhangelsk Region, Kamchatka, Krasnodar and Khabarovsk Territories.
Speaking about the Arkhangelsk region and Kamchatka, Revenko said he referred to the lack of additional beds, which may be required in case of aggravation of the situation.
The heads of the Komi and Arkhangelsk regions Sergey Gaplikov and Igor Orlov resigned on April 2 of their own free will.
The head of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug Alexander Tsybulsky also resigned, he was appointed to the place of Orlov, the governor of the Arkhangelsk region.
All of the resigned governors reportedly had quite low approval ratings, regardless of the situation.
They also presumably disagreed with the harsh measures undertaken to counter the COVID-19 epidemic, and the hysteria surrounding it, since the fatalities in Russia don’t warrant such a response.
After all, the list of 30 fatalities is primarily people with serious underlying diseases, or those who have received no treatment due to one reason or another.
The latest fatality is the following:
A 39 year-old man from Moscow, and the patient had tachycardia, multiple organ failure and a number of other chronic diseases.
Separately, in the US, the total number of cases are 5,000 away from a quarter million.
On April 1st, the San Francisco Chronicle published a leaked letter from Navy Capt. Brett E. Crozier, of the USS Theodore Roosevelt who was allegedly fired after warning that sailors would die from COVID-19 unless most of the ship’s crew was placed under isolation.
The letter can be found here. [pdf]
“Sailors do not need to die,” Crozier wrote. “If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”
Furthermore, Crozier detailed how social distancing was impossible aboard a warship and testing sailors was doing nothing to slow the spread of COVID—19. In fact, he wrote, the spread of the disease was accelerating.
Crozier also explained that group quarantine for sailors moved ashore was not working, noting that at least two sailors moved to an open bay gymnasium had tested positive for COVID-19 at the time he wrote the memo.
He proposed moving about 90 % of the Theodore Roosevelt’s roughly 4,000 sailors into individual quarantine while keeping a small number of crew members aboard to disinfect the ship, run the carrier’s nuclear reactors, and perform other essential tasks.
“Keeping over 4,000 young men and women aboard the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those sailors entrusted to our care,” Crozier wrote.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly responded to the reports.
“I heard about the letter from Capt. Crozier (Tuesday) morning, I know that our command organization has been aware of this for about 24 hours and we have been working actually the last seven days to move those sailors off the ship and get them into accommodations in Guam. The problem is that Guam doesn’t have enough beds right now and we’re having to talk to the government there to see if we can get some hotel space, create tent-type facilities,” Modly said.
“We don’t disagree with the (captain) on that ship and we’re doing it in a very methodical way because it’s not the same as a cruise ship, that ship has armaments on it, it has aircraft on it, we have to be able to fight fires if there are fires on board the ship, we have to run a nuclear power plant, so there’s a lot of things that we have to do on that ship that make it a little bit different and unique but we’re managing it and we’re working through it,” he said.
“We’re very engaged in this, we’re very concerned about it and we’re taking all the appropriate steps,” Modly said.
Finally, Modly said he felt Crozier showed “extremely poor judgment in the middle of a crisis” by sending his memo to between 20 and 30 people, and that created doubts about the Theodore Roosevelt’s ability to deploy if needed.
The crew of the aircraft carrier apparently has own point of view regarding the actions of Navy Capt. Brett E. Crozier:
Modly also claimed that Crozier went too far by saying that sailors could die of the coronavirus.
“No one knows that to be true,” Modly said. “It does not comport with the data we have right now on the ship. If we take the actions we’re going to take, hopefully not.”
“There are data that I gathered with my discussions with him, with others, as well as the facts that lead me to believe that we can have a better CO right now to help people with this crisis,” Modly added.
Thus, both in Russia and the US there’s contrasting opinions of the necessary response against the COVID-19, but while Washington needs to deal with nearly 250,000 cases, and upwards of 6,000 fatalities, Russia has to deal with less than 4,000 and 30 fatalities.
In Europe, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, told Italy that European nations were ready to help it deal with the coronavirus after initially focusing on “their own home problems”.
“Today Europe is mobilising alongside Italy. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case,” von der Leyen wrote in Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper.
“It must be recognised that in the early days of the crisis, in the face of the need for a common European response, too many have thought only of their own home problems.”
Von der Leyen said the EU “will allocate up to €100 billion to the hardest hit countries, starting from Italy, to compensate for the reduction in the wages of those working on shorter hours.”
She said the newly agreed initiative provides “loans guaranteed by all member states — thus demonstrating European solidarity”.
Von der Leyen concluded by proposing that “every euro still available in the EU’s annual budget be spent on tackling the crisis”.
“In the past month, the European Commission has left no stone unturned to help Italy,” she wrote.
Essentially, she made an apology and promised nothing in particular.
Italy on April 2nd reached 115,000 active cases, and 13,900 fatalities. Spain, on the other hand is at 112,00 total cases and 10,000 fatalities.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- While the World Is In Disarray, COVID-19 Is Breaking Up Russia
- Mandatory Lockdown In Russia Is Extended Until April 30