After his government initially suppressed warnings about the outbreak’s severity, Xi claimed credit for locking down Hubei province and replaced local leaders. His success will depend largely on whether there’s a second wave of infections.
At the start of the outbreak, Iranian authorities made a show of solidarity with China and were slow to restrict international and domestic travel. Religious authorities in Qom, a pilgrimage site that was the epicenter of the Iranian outbreak, declined to restrict access to shrines. Iran’s missteps are reflected in the high number of government officials who have been infected, including about one-tenth of the nation’s 290-member parliament.