Trump and U.S. in COVID-19 Crisis is 'Like Watching The Decline of The Roman Empire': Canadian Mayor

Witnessing the Trump administration attempt to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in a tense election year is akin to watching the fall of the Roman Empire, a Canadian mayor has said.

Mike Bradley, the mayor of Sarnia, a city neighboring Michigan known for its petrochemical industry, told The New York Times: "Personally, it's like watching the decline of the Roman Empire." The fall of the 500-year-old superstate in 476 AD is widely considered to mark the start of the Middle Ages, also known as the Dark Ages, in Europe.

Bradley's comments were published alongside those of other politicians as well as experts from around the world concerned by the situation the superpower has found itself in.

In an article titled, 'I Feel Sorry for Americans': A Baffled World Watches the U.S., U Aung Thu Nyein, a political analyst in Myanmar, told the newspaper: "The U.S.A. is a first-world country but it is acting like a third-world country."

The report was published on Friday, the day the U.S. reported its 7 millionth case of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Days before, the country's death toll hit 200,000—a moment that top immunologist and White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci described as "sobering... and stunning."

For months, the U.S. has had the world's worse COVID-19 case and death counts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the U.S. in a particularly fraught election year, which has seen the resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests. Earlier in the week, Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if his opponent Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election on November 3.

Trump told a White House press briefing on Wednesday he would "have to see what happens."

donald trump, Pennsylvania, COVID-19, coronavirus, getty
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic Aviation on September 22 in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Pushed on the question, he went on: "Get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very peaceful—there won't be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it. And you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else."

The president has repeatedly made false claims that the results of vote-by-mail ballots cannot be trusted because of alleged fraud, at a time when the option is particularly important due to the pandemic. Republicans previously told Newsweek they feared Trump's claims could hurt their party's chances at the ballot box.

Playboy White House reporter Brian Karem who asked Trump the question later tweeted: "This is the most frightening answer I have ever received to any question I have ever asked. I've interviewed convicted killers with more empathy."

After the death of liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week, the Republican party has also been criticized for planning on filling the seat before election day. The replacement is set to be announced on Saturday.

Julián Castro, a member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, tweeted: "In one day, Trump refused a peaceful transition of power and urged the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice to hand him an election if the results are contested. This is fascism, alive and well in the Republican Party."