Covid-19: Papers slam 'the unaccountable elite'


IN THE PAPERS - Monday, May 25: Even right-wing tabloid the Daily Mail is outraged by the British prime minister's support for his senior advisor Dominic Cummings, who broke lockdown rules to travel to the northeast of the country after developing Covid-19 symptoms. Meanwhile, Donald Trump spent his Sunday golfing  ̶  an image many cartoonists have overlain across the day's front page of the New York Times, which lists the names of coronavirus victims. We also look at a plea from French healthcare workers as the government looks to revamp the hospital system, and a warning about rats!


Many conservative British papers are leading with the prime minister's defense of his adviser Dominic Cummings, but there is one key tabloid breaking ranks. The Daily Mail is very critical of what they call Boris Johnson's "brazen" backing of his senior adviser. "What planet are they on?" the paper asks. Dominic Cummings must step down, they say, or the prime minister must sack him. For the editors of the Guardian, the planet the two men are on is simply the planet of the "unaccountable elite". Meanwhile, the paper's cartoonist Ben Jennings shows Cummings making a stop on his road trip up north to take a bathroom break at a graveyard.


The UK is far from being the only place where leaders are sparking outrage for their seeming disrespect for the dead. Over in the US, Donald Trump spent his Sunday playing golf. The cartoonist Benjamin Slyngstad is one of many juxtaposing that image with Sunday's front page from the New York Times. It lists the names of some of the nearly 100,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19. But as we read here, for Donald Trump that’s nothing compared to his golf score. 


Here in France, today marks the start of seven weeks of consultations between the government and healthcare professionals to rethink the French hospital system. Left-wing paper Libération devotes its front page to an open letter written by a collective of medical professionals. They criticize the absurdity of a system they say favours profitability over care. They write: "You were able to count on us during this crisis, show us that we can count on you."


Finally, we've heard a lot of stories about the natural world thriving while humans are under lockdown, but there is one animal that’s struggling: rats! The US Centers for Disease Control are warning that without the food and waste generated by the restaurant system, rats are becoming increasingly aggressive. For the moment it's mostly toward each other, with some of the rodents even turning to cannibalism. If you have a soft spot for rats, don’t worry too much about them  ̶  scientists say they are resilient and good at being pests.

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