World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


'Results May Be Catastrophic': Concerns Grow As Trump Shuns Global Cooperation On Covid-19 Treatment

"Trump's refusal to participate in a coordinated global effort to respond to COVID19 is the 21st century equivalent of the U.S. not joining the League of Nations."

by Eoin Higgins, staff writer

President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall event on May 3, 2020. (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Critics warn that President Donald Trump's spurning of international cooperation on Covid-19 could result in disaster and set back efforts to cure the disease even as the president promised in a town hall with Fox News Sunday that the U.S. would have a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of the year.

As Politico reported, Trump's approach to vaccine development is raising alarm among international diplomats and advocates who fear the White House's rejection of cooperative efforts hints at a future stance that will emphasize competing with other countries for a vaccine rather than ensuring one is available for everyone in the world.

"You would think that, based on the past, that the U.S. would be a galvanizing, lead element in pushing for transparency and early planning," Stephen Morrison, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Politico. "I don't think that's true in this administration."

According to Politico:

The Trump administration's apparent lack of interest in cooperation has alarmed global health officials and diplomats as they seek to end a pandemic that has disabled economies and killed more than 240,000 people worldwide. The concerns are only deepening as President Donald Trump and his aides squabble with China and the WHO over the origins of the virus.

The fear is that Trump will be content with allowing the race to develop and distribute the vaccine to devolve into a global contest—and that poorer countries will be left behind in the rush to procure doses. In essence: that the president's "America First" view of world affairs as an atavistic scramble for power will lead to unnecessary suffering and death.

Vaccinating the world's population againt the disease is expected to cost upwards of $20 billion for what European leaders described as a "unique global public good of the 21st century."

On Sunday, Trump told Fox News that the U.S. would have a vaccine available for the country's population by the end of the year, a timeline that is not shared by the nation's top health officials.

Attorney Max Kennerly, an outspoken critic of the president, noted on Twitter that Trump's prior moves on vaccine development don't stir much confidence, particularly the firing of vaccine expert Dr. Rick Bright in April after the Health and Human Services (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) director resisted efforts by Trump to promote untested coronavirus treatments.

"The Trump admin already botched the development and use of viral testing, gave blanket authorization for the use of poorly-performing antibody tests, and recently removed Dr. Bright as head of BARDA at HHS," tweeted Kennerly. "There's no limit to how badly they can screw up a vaccine."

The president's rejection of international cooperation, said the Center for a New American Security's Ilan Goldberg, could be a move with ramifications on a world-historic scale.

"Trump's refusal to participate in a coordinated global effort to respond to COVID19 is the 21st century equivalent of the U.S. not joining the League of Nations," said Goldberg. "The results may be catastrophic."

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Covid-19: WHO Reports Largest Single Day Increase In Cases

The World Health Organization ( WHO ) reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases over the course of Sunday, registering more than 183,000 new infections in 24 hours, bringing the total to some 8.8 million cases worldwide, with more than ... More>>

China: National Security Law Must Not Become A Weapon Of Fear

Responding to today’s passing of a national security law for Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, the head of Amnesty International’s China Team, Joshua Rosenzweig, said: 'The passing of the national ... More>>

UN: Syrians ‘face Unprecedented Hunger Amid Impending COVID Crisis’

© UNICEF/Delil Souleiman | A young boy photographed at Al-Hol refugee camp in the northeastern desert of Syria. (July 2019) Syrian communities devastated by years of civil war now face an “unprecedented” hunger crisis, just as urgent action ... More>>

Israel/OPT: Annexation Plan Promotes ‘Law Of The Jungle’ And Must Be Stopped

The Israeli authorities must immediately abandon plans to further 'annex' territory in the occupied West Bank which breach international laws and exacerbate decades of systematic human rights violations against Palestinians there, Amnesty ... More>>