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System of a Down Singer Compares New Zealand’s COVID Response to America’s

While most critics of the U.S. government’s handling of the pandemic have been armchair quarterbacks, System of a Down’s Serg Tankian has had an opportunity to compare the United States’ coronavirus response to that of another country — and he’s found the U.S. pales by comparison.

“We live between New Zealand and the U.S.,” Tankian says. “I’m in the U.S. now, but we were in New Zealand the majority of the time during the pandemic in 2020. The New Zealand government handed it incredibly well, and therefore it was pretty much back to normal in a few months there. They’re having a small recurrence now with a few cases, but they know what they’re doing.”

Then Tankian and his family returned to the U.S. “When we came back to L.A. later in the year, the pandemic, like everyone else, was devastating to me,” he says. “I had 22 concerts with System, two film openings, two art installation openings. All got canceled. But I used the time to finish new music, which was good, as an artist.”

What specifically has the U.S. done wrong?


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