COVID-19 is "still evolving" and "progressing around the world," threatening to make the second year of the global pandemic "more deadlier than the first,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned this week.
The United States will endorse a motion at the World Trade Organization seeking to waive draconian patent and related intellectual property protections that have thus far prevented the world from achieving global COVID-19 vaccines equity, the Biden-Harris administration announced this week. Pope Francis announced his support of “universal access to the vaccine” and condemned the “virus of individualism” that “makes us indifferent to the suffering of others”.
"It is not surprising, therefore, that there is now a vast global coalition of NGOs, states and UN agencies that favour the recognition of vaccines (and health in general) as a public good and not a business, and the consequent temporary suspension of patent rights."
This week, the global death toll from COVID-19 topped 3 million, and cases topped 140 million, two heartbreaking milestones accompanied by burgeoning global COVID-19 vaccine “apartheid”, emerging deadly virus variants and mutations, increasing prevalence of vaccine “blood clots” and side-effects, vaccination pauses and restrictions, and the racist politics around the global distribution of life-saving vaccines.
The "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male," a U.S. government-sponsored unethical study on 399 Black men from Alabama that was conducted between 1932 and 1972, is not responsible for current medical racism, health inequities and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
The ongoing global rollout of life-saving vaccines no longer guarantees victory over COVID-19 as new "variants of concern" are now emerging and rapidly spreading worldwide, "putting current pandemic control efforts, including vaccination, at risk of being derailed," a group of leading health experts from around the world argues in this joint op-ed.
A coalition of U.S. state attorneys general is calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to implement aggressive measures against the anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, lies and alarmist disinformation and misinformation thriving on their platforms, undermining public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Read South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement announcing a 21-day lockdown "to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people", issued March 23, 2020, after South Africa had experienced a six-fold increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in just eight days.