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Brooke Sample

Coronavirus Has Exposed a Global Leadership Vacuum

And it could end up shifting the international order.

The power of an office.

The power of an office.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Whether we still believe in a “leader of the free world,” the idea the American president holds the title has maintained a foothold, however vague, in many people’s minds. Earth-shaking events — which now include Covid-19 — have a way of challenging such commonplaces. Now that the U.S. has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, other heads of state have the chance to step up and provide examples of authority with skill, potentially shifting the global balance of power. As we search for leadership, we may discover that the world order is no longer what it once was.

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