Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor

Donald Trump wanted to recruit Irish mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor as a spokesperson in the US government’s anti-COVID-19 campaign, according to a new book by RTE Washington correspondent Brian O’Donovan.

In “Four Years in the Cauldron,” O’Donovan says he saw a document looking at the possibility of tapping McGregor, who is a former Ultimate Fighting featherweight champ, for the PR campaign.

McGregor, who has had several run-ins with the law, was said to appeal to the general public, as well as “super-spreaders” who were less likely to wear masks and practice social distancing.

The Irishman also is a big fan of Trump.

He tweeted that Trump was “quite possibly” the greatest president of all time and at the very least “sits atop the shoulders of many amazing giants that came before him."

McGregor is back in the news this month for his out-of-the ring fisticuffs activity.

He allegedly broke the nose of Italian DJ Francesco Facchinetti during an unprovoked 2:30 am attack.

Facchinetti was helping McGregor and his fiancee celebrate the Vatican baptism of their son, which occurred the previous day.

In September, McGregor got into a tussle with rapper Machine Gun Kelly at the MTV Awards ceremony.

US fell from No. 4 to No. 17 on Brand Finance’s rankings of the strength of national brands

The mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to America's image as the US fell from No. 4 to No. 17 on Brand Finance’s rankings of the strength of national brands.

The UK, Japan and France also tumbled from the Top Ten list in the category that evaluates brand investment, equity and performance.

Switzerland moved to the top of the list due to its strong response to the pandemic. It used a mix of compulsory and non-compulsory measures to cure the spread of the virus.

The Swiss government’s order to stay at home was only advisory, letting the people make the decision for themselves.

Brand Finance also noted that Switzerland’s model of government, allowing the people to provide input via frequent referenda drew kudos. The Swiss rejected a motion to end its freedom of movement agreement with the EU and voted to make discrimination of the basis of sexual orientation illegal.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said Switzerland’s standing in next year’s ranking may take a hit.

"The nation recently went into the global spotlight with the leak of the Pandora Papers, which could taint its reputation as Swiss financial advisors are scrutinized on the global stage.”

Germany, which had held the No. 1 spot, slipped to No.5. Australia and New Zealand moved into the Top 10 due to their early lockdown orders and quick reactions to subsequent outbreaks.

The US remains the world’s most valuable nation brand with a value of $24.8T, up five percent from a year ago.

China retained the No. 2 position as its brand value advanced six percent to $19.9T.