Vaccine “diplomacy”

Discomfort among European leaders this week after Joe Biden’s surprise proposal of a temporary patents waiver to boost the supply of Covid vaccines for poorer countries. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission boss, said the EU was open to the idea, but at a summit in Porto,  Germany and France gave it a cool reception. They may have a point about US and UK exports (or lack of them) being the real issue but with his move Biden appears to have put the US on the moral high ground about getting the world vaccinated, and Europe on the spot.  (The Guardian 12 May , 2021)

My comment: The advantages enjoyed by the “advanced” countries in terms of fighting covid results in an acute moral problem.  I believe that Epicurus would want as much equity in the fight against covid as possible. The stories coming out of India should make the most hard-hearted wince and squirm.   We should be shipping vaccines to all such countries and, this once at least, ignore the corruption and authoritarianism emerging in so many of them (including India). One way of fighting this authoritarianism is to set an example of no-strings-attached generosity.   What you give comes back to you eventually.

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