Venezuelan medical professionals now say that Maduro’s “miracle drops” — which he pledged would rapidly go into mass production — are actually an extract of the herb thyme, used in homeopathic therapies and ordinary cooking.

Yet one aspect of the marketing blitz did ring true. More than any other nation in the Western Hemisphere, this broken socialist state might need a miracle to defeat the novel coronavirus.

Venezuela is so far behind in sourcing vaccines that analysts say it could be 2023 or later before it acquires enough to achieve herd immunity. That places it in the bottom rung of nations — alongside authoritarian peers North Korea, Syria and Myanmar — where widespread vaccination campaigns are not expected until long after the rest of the globe has regained a semblance of normal life.