The interview began with Albright recalling her childhood in England during World War II and discussing the trust the people had in the government when it came to keeping themselves and each other safe, even if that meant sleeping in the cellar of an apartment building for maximum protection during air raids. The willingness to do all that, Albright said, stemmed directly from how the government was handling the situation, which is the opposite of how things feel in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In England, Churchill had a view and the government was trusted, from everything that I can tell, from my reading also,” she said. “I think now there’s complete confusion, mainly because the president keeps changing his mind. And so I think that he is the one that’s contributed to an already difficult situation — by changing what he’s been saying and then saying he hasn’t changed it. Leadership makes all the difference.”
Later in the interview, Albright discussed her new memoir, Hell and Other Destinations, which draws its title from her famous quote, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.” While speaking about the legacy of that quote and the role women have in boosting other women into elected office, Albright’s thoughts turned back to the coronavirus crisis.
“What is so interesting now is that the countries that have managed to have some kind of control over the virus are the countries run by women — that is what’s so fascinating,” she said. “Like the Prime Minister of New Zealand and then Taiwan, Finland, Germany, Denmark and Norway… I think women are really good at multi-tasking because that’s what we have to do, which means that we have peripheral vision, that we do care about how decisions are made, that we actually — if you want to put it in these terms — we don’t want to divide our children so that one group hates the other. And there are a variety of aspects in terms of how women come to power, which is mostly by trying to be helpful rather than having a lot of ego activity.”