The world’s fight against Covid-19 is at a crossroads. Four out of five doses of vaccine have gone to a few rich countries. “What are we all working for?’ Asks Dr. David Nabarro, a special envoy of the World Health Organization. “Are we working for a small number of groups of people in well endowed countries to be able to be protected? People like me? Is this all about us being able to be okay.”
Or, Dr. Nabarro adds, will the rich world take up the responsibility for manufacturing and distributing enough vaccine to protect everyone? Inventing the vaccine was a triumph for science, says the Director General of the W.H.O., Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. But inequitable distribution is a “failure for humanity.”
In this episode, Global GoalsCast attends a high level briefing lead by Dr. Nabarro, with updates on the spread of Covid-19 in India, Nepal, Chile and Argentina. Co-host Edie Lush also speaks with her old boss, Ivan Weisman, a journalist in Argentina, about a creative approach to lockdowns in one of that countries poorest communities.
David Nabarro is the Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and supports systems leadership for sustainable development through his Switzerland based social enterprise 4SD. From March 2020, Mr. Nabarro is appointed Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19.
In October 2018, he received the World Food Prize together with Lawrence Haddad for their leadership in raising the profile and building coalitions for action for better nutrition across the Sustainable Development Goals.
Curious. Economist and Political Scientist by profession, journalist by trade. Born in the United States, raised in Chile, but his heart brought him to Argentina. Before falling in love with journalism, he went through politics and the world of finance. He also had a short stint in professional rugby. Telling stories is his thing.
Dr. Rojan Dahal is currently affiliated to Executive director, One Health Initiative for South Asia, Nepal, continuing research in the specialized scientific area of Zoonotic Diseases and One Health Approach
Rebecca Kanter, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Nutrition Department at the University of Chile. She was previously a research fellow at the University of Chile’s Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA). In 2014, Dr. Kanter was a visiting research fellow in the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) and with the Nutrition Group in the Department of Population Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Dr. Kanter’s current teaching and research focuses on the linkages between public health nutrition and agriculture. She takes great interest in the agri-health related risk factors for human health and public health nutrition, such as (obesogenic) food environments and gender disparities, particularly in Latin America. She has previously worked in Brazil, Mexico, and Guatemala and on many multi-Latin American country research studies. In 2012, she participated in the 6th Latin American Workshop in Leadership in Nutrition held by the Latin American Nutrition Society (SLAN). Dr. Kanter is also an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert on data management for developing countries.
Have been fortunate to be the senior most full time Health Adviser to the Prime Minister of India at the Planning Commission- now Niti Aayog. For one of the fastest growing economies, got an opportunity to contribute towards country’s health & nutrition policies, and secure substantially enhanced allocations for these sectors. As Chief of Health Division there, appraised and monitored about US $ 18 billion per annum Central and State health plans and programs. Was Convenor of ‘The High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage in India’ constituted by the Prime Minister. Taking into account global experiences, it’s report paved the path for universal health coverage in the country.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. In doing so, he was the first WHO Director-General elected from among multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and was the first person from the WHO African Region to head the world’s leading public health agency.
Dr Tedros is globally recognized as a health scholar, advocate and diplomat with first-hand experience in research, operations, and leadership in emergency responses.
In collaboration with:
Rebecca Kanter: [00:00:00] So people have been living in an extreme state of poverty during this entire pandemic, but that’s also the root of a lot of the social prices that erupted at the end of 2019. It’s just a perfect storm of a lot of things.
Ivan Weissman: [00:00:17] They created these programs, which at the beginning, they were hard to implement because Argentina is only 50% of the people have a bank account.
So basically how you get the class to them. Well, that is a great solution terms of story, the boom of the FinTech industry.
David Nabarro: [00:00:35] It’s what we do as individuals. It’s what we do as households. It’s what we do in our communities. It’s what we do in our local government areas. And it’s what we do in our nations that actually will determine not so much what happens in our country, but what will happen in our world, this issue needs the collective effort of all of humanity.
Claudia: [00:01:06] Welcome to the Global GoalsCast.
Edie: [00:01:08] The podcast that explores how we can change the world.
Claudia: [00:01:12] In this episode, can the world come together to fight COVID-19 together
Edie: [00:01:18] or will the rich world just keep looking after itself, and leave everyone else to suffer?
Claudia: [00:01:24] Edie, ooh, you sound so grim. Can we just be more optimistic? This is a Global GoalsCast.
Edie: [00:01:29] I know, but it is a grim time and a challenging one.
Claudia: [00:01:33] Yes, Edie, yes. Good news. We can make things better by how we choose to respond. That was a message delivered on Friday by the head of the world health organization, dr. Tedros.
Tedros: [00:01:52] Our commitment to the future is measured by our actions today. Yesterday alone, more than 13,000 people around the world lost their lives to COVID-19. Nine every single minute today, the number will be similar and tomorrow and next day, and people will continue to die as long as the global disparity in vaccines persists. Yes, the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is a triumph of science, but their inequitable distribution is a failure for humanity.
Almost 90% of all vaccines administered globally have been in G-20 countries. We can only end the pandemic if everyone has the tools to stop it.
Edie: [00:02:54] Equity will save lives.
Claudia: [00:02:57] You said it! And when we come back, we will hear much more on the pandemic and the fight to restrain it from one of the special invoice of the world health organization. Our favorite. My former boss, Dr. David Nabarro. But first this message.
This episode of global goals cast is brought to you by our listeners. That’s right, listeners like you who care about the future. Please spread the word, tell your friends about Global GoalsCast. Hit the like and subscribe and give us five stars. Thanks also to CBS News Digital and Universal Production Music.
Welcome back. I’m Claudia Romo Edelman.
Edie: [00:03:42] And I’m Edie Lush. Claudia. The pandemic is sometimes called a race between the virus and the vaccine. Now that’s all well, and good. If you have enough vaccine as we do here in the UK or where you are in the US.
Claudia: [00:03:57] But for most of the world, this race has not even begun because they don’t have vaccines. We just need to keep a clear eye on the global challenge, which is getting vaccines to everyone.
Edie: [00:04:09] And also remembering there are many ways to box in the virus while waiting for the vaccine. Later I’ll share with you my conversation with my friend and colleague in Argentina about the clever way they protected one of the poorest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires as the virus ran rampant through the country.
Claudia: [00:04:27] Sounds like a good illustration of what Dr. David Nabarro is always telling us. People are the answer.
Edie: [00:04:35] I always say you are so smart. So why don’t we check in now with Dr. Nabarro?
David Nabarro: [00:04:42] What are we all working for? Are we working for a small number of groups of people in well endowed countries to be able to be protected? People like me, this is all about us being able to be okay. Being able to sigh a sense of relief when we can get vaccinated and then wringing our hands and saying, well, yes, this is a very unfair situation, but there’s a vaccine available and I should take it.
Claudia: [00:05:16] That happened at the same time that Dr. Tedros was addressing the world health assembly. Dr. David Nabarro has invited Global GoalsCast, yours truly, to join his regular briefings on the pandemic. He was speaking over Zoom to health advocates from all around the world.
David Nabarro: [00:05:35] So thank you again, everybody. And here we go. The numbers. Well, I’ve looked at the overall epidemic curve and I’m happy to say that the extremely large numbers of cases reported each day up in the area of 700,000 per 24 hours has mercifully dropped.
And WHO received a report yesterday of 640,000 people having COVID and yesterday 13,250 people dying with COVID. It’s also a reality that the numbers increasingly are not really giving the full picture. Rojan Dahal sent me a text yesterday saying that in Nepal, the virus is getting into rural areas because as a result of movement restrictions, people have moved from the cities like Katmandu and they’ve gone back to their local towns or to their villages, and then taking the virus with them. And so you’re getting small clusters building up miles away from health facilities, certainly a long way away from effective testing. And so there’s probably with the movement of the virus, into rural areas of many parts of the world now, there’s a really massive under-reporting. Estimates from India and Nepal suggest that actually the death rates might be between three and five times greater than what’s been reported. And so everybody, the figures are important, but the reality is probably much more pronounced than the figures in many places.
There’s just no evidence of any spontaneous weakening of the powers of the virus. Indeed many of the variants of concern that they’re being reported from around the world are associated with greater transmissibility of the virus from person to person. Right. And in some cases that’s contributing to what are some very sharp increases in case numbers, what I call the spikes. And these spikes when they progress, and the transmission becomes greatly enhanced, turn into surges of disease, which then present as major explosive outbreaks if they’re not suppressed. And these surges have occurred in different parts of the US, that have occurred in the UK, they occurred in Brazil earlier this year, and that’s still happening in some parts of Brazil. Then we’ve seen a very massive surge in different parts of India, which is still going on in Nepal, in parts of Bangladesh, in parts of Pakistan and in the Maldives, in Malaysia and in other countries in east Asia and Taiwan, and there is a series of spikes in Singapore. There’s a major spike, and I think classes as a surge in Trinidad and Tobago in the north of South America, and in Argentina right now, there’s been a very steep increase in numbers of cases. And there is a great deal of suffering.
Edie: [00:09:21] Dr. Nabarro detailed these surges, including reports from public health colleagues on the ground in India, Nepal, and Chile.
David Nabarro: [00:09:31] Let me just give you some reports that have been received by the WHO recently. India, 276,000 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. World health organization assistant director general Samira Asma said 6 to 8 million people in India may have actually died so far in India as a result of COVID; more than twice the WHO official death toll of three and a half million. Of course, you’ve probably all of you seen stories of unfortunately, cadavers piling up in various settings, awaiting cremation. And in some cases they are being put into rivers, which are all then leading to a confluence of waterflow containing cadavers that is now quite serious in north India. Pretty unpleasant. Of course, the government is responding with a mix of measures, including some localized movement restrictions, as well as some more wider movement restrictions at state level. But there’s a limit to the amount to which movement restrictions can be used, given the poverty of the population and the amount of suffering that happened as a result of the lockdowns last year. The vaccination program continues to roll out, but it’s a pretty massive responsibility to try to vaccinate the adult population of a country with a population of 1.3 billion.
And I think that everybody concerned has really come to recognize that even if a lot of vaccine was available, vaccinating everybody out of the pandemic in India would be particularly challenging. But at the moment there are shortages of vaccine supply everywhere.
Claudia: [00:11:24] Which means lockdowns are still needed. Dr NK Sethi, a public health expert in India, talked about the damage restrictions costs, and how to manage them.
Dr NK Sethi: [00:11:37] I am also not in favor of restrictions, but it has been a Catch-22 situation in India. If health system is not able to take care of COVID here, if the health system is not able to take care of non-public care, it has economic implications. And at the same time, people move because of lack of employment. That also has a big economic implication. So my consistent persuasive effort has been timely graded restrictions based on objective criteria, mixed balance, holding back COVID, and balancing economy.
David Nabarro: [00:12:22] Now, if we move north from India across the border into Nepal, again there’s a rapid increase in numbers of cases. There’s certainly the early vaccine that came as a donation from the Serum Institute of India. It’s not being repeated, there’s a shortage of vaccine in Nepal. No hope of action from India for at least 16 weeks. People are trying to enter multiple facilities when patients are ill in Nepal, before they find one with a bed, and it’s often too late. There are extraordinary shortages of oxygen. There are challenges in Nepal, in the Terai on the border with India and the government’s health emergency operations center is quoted as saying in Katmandu Valley, almost all of the intensive care beds are full and all ventilators are in use and even hospitals where beds are available, patients can not be admitted due to lack of oxygen.
Edie: [00:13:25] Lockdowns have helped in Nepal, but the crisis is far from over. Dr. Rojan Dahal explained from Katmandu.
Rojan: [00:13:33] So after the three weeks of restrictions, the passing flow has been reduced in the middle of Nepal. However, the shortage of bed, as you said, in the ICU and ventilators, when persons visit to the hospitals, their relatives are asked to bring the oxygens by themselves due to the lack of oxygen in the hospitals.
In addition to this, the persons are also reluctant to visit the hospitals. Peoples have a fear about the cost associated for the treatment.
Edie: [00:14:06] Wait, what? Patients have to bring their own oxygen?
Claudia: [00:14:10] Yes Edie! Even in my country, in Mexico, what is happening in India it’s also happening in Mexico. People have to queue for hours to go buy their oxygen and then bring it to the hospital.
It’s really important to remind ourselves how difficult things are in a number of places all around the world.
Edie: [00:14:31] In fact Rojan spoke about how government officials and aid organizations have showed up in Nepal, taken a look around and said we will want to help.
Claudia: [00:14:40] Oh yeah. We’re happy to help, but nothing materialized. And the same thing happened on the fight against HIV. People were desperate, running like chickens without head, but it took two and a half years to overcome the fragmentation and come to a place of organization and collaboration for the world.
Edie: [00:14:58] Dr. Nabarro talked about that and said he hoped we could do better this time. We are just a year into this pandemic. Then he introduced an expert in Chile. Her name is Rebecca Canter. She described the connection between COVID-19 and the sharp social disparities that Chile was struggling with even before or the pandemic.
Rebecca: [00:15:23] We continue to have over 10% positivity rate these past weeks. This has been going on the trend more or less since March. Now certainly I think if our vaccination rate wasn’t so high, we would be closer to Argentina or to Peru, but our health system here is also much stronger. It’s also showing that the ICU admissions, the people who are getting really sick are the younger population who are just now starting maybe their first dose.
They have been talking about a new Chilean variant. I have not read when they think that actually emerged, but I would say definitely within the past few months, and we’ve had a vaccination campaign going here strong since the beginning of February.
Chile literally erupted in a social crisis at the end of 2019 and that social crisis, which was quite violent, went up until the pandemic, the pandemic put a damper on a really huge underlying social earthquake that has a lot to do with public health indicators that are related to what we need now. So, for example, the social security system here is all privatized. People are now in this, been in this pandemic without any social support, government support, no food support, so higher rates of multi-dimensional poverty. And then what’s been happening with the higher case numbers is that the only way the government has offered social support is for certain groups of people to be able to take a 10% withdrawal out of their private pension fund that normally they wouldn’t have access to. The government just came out with something a few weeks ago that people in the middle-class, but no one can figure out what the middle class is, could get some money, and I’ll say that no one could figure out what the middle class is because everyone would go online to try to see if they were eligible for this money. And so many people couldn’t get access to it.
So people have been living in an extreme state of poverty during this entire pandemic, but that’s also the root of a lot of the social crisis that erupted at the end of 2019. All this to say that we had elections last weekend that were held Saturday and Sunday, normally elections are just on Sundays. It’s the first time it was held Saturday and Sunday, which also relates to what’s probably now happening with these pandemic numbers.
The elections were quite historic and exciting because of this whole social crisis. So Santiago just selected a female governor, a female mayor, female council women, lots of women and indigenous elected and it shows just the overall frustration, honestly, in this country in terms of what’s happening. It’s just a perfect storm of a lot of things.
Edie: [00:18:26] A perfect storm of a lot of things. That describes so much of the world.
Claudia: [00:18:34] David Nabarro then went from Chile to Argentina.
David Nabarro: [00:18:37] A thousand cases in the last 24 hours, a big increase in the numbers dying. I was just looking at a newspaper report from Argentina, which said that the daily death rate at the start of March was 112, whereas on Tuesday 744 people died with COVID. And in Argentina, unfortunately, some of those people who have died have had two doses of vaccine, an awful lot more have had one dose of vaccine. Work is being done to see whether or not this is some form of escape from vaccine protection, or whether this is just that unfortunately the vaccine just wasn’t able to be sufficiently potent to deal with the virus because they were infected too quickly after they’d been immunized. I mean, I’m particularly anxious about Argentina. One of my fellow envoys, Dr. Mirta Roses Periago. She is a senior communicable disease expert from Argentina. And she was telling me just earlier today of just how amazingly serious the situation is, and how much it is causing the whole health system to be finding it super hard to cope, and indeed health professionals really at the end of their tether, in some cases, just not able to work because they’re so stressed.
Edie: [00:20:11] Later in the episode, I’ll share my conversation with my friend and colleague in Argentina on measures that they’ve taken to contain the virus in one of the poorest communities in the country. First, Dr. Nabarro continued his briefing with a worrisome look at where we’re headed.
David Nabarro: [00:20:31] And so the story goes on. And what am I telling you that the issues that we were looking at last year, of this capacity of COVID to form these rapidly increasing spikes of infection, often in quite trite, geographical areas, coupled with the consequences of the defensive actions that societies have to take leading to increases in hunger and increases in undernutrition of children. That is not only going on, that is going on in a much more intensive way in multiple locations. According to my WHO colleagues, this is going to increase. It’s not going to slow down. My colleagues who work in the WHO invoice system are also very concerned about early signs they’re seeing of, for example, in the Middle East, deaths numbers going up, vaccine rollout is really low because COVAX has no vaccines in their stocks to distribute around now.
So we’ve got countries everywhere with populations that received their first dose from the COVAX supplies earlier this year are now unsure whether they’re going to be able to get a second dose, a lot of stress, health ministers, of course, being invited to leave their jobs because more vaccine can’t come. And a lot of presidents and their agents going to the vaccine manufacturers, desperate to try to get more vaccines because the system is not able to help them. And don’t think it’s just about the variants, our colleagues in WHO say that these big surges are associated with widespread population movement coupled by the virus, in some cases, being more easily transmitted and taken together. Uh, this does mean great increases in case numbers.
What are we going to do? Are we going to stick with just concentrating on the wellbeing of people in the wealthy countries? Or are we going to move to a world that sees this as a global issue? Well, it’s not up to people like me. But I have a voice. I’ll go on. I’ll go on, and I won’t stop because I think that is now absolutely essential for everyone with a voice to speak out.
What are we working for? We’re working for the health of everybody, not just a select few. And the reason why we’re working for the health of everybody is because people are the solution to a problem that is caused by a really unpleasant and cunning and difficult virus, but there’s no other solution.
And so it’s what we do as individuals. It’s what we do as households. It’s what we do in our communities. It’s what we do in our local government areas. And it’s what we do in our nations. That actually will determine not so much what happens in our country, but what will happen in our world because more than any other issue that is contemporary and difficult right now, this issue needs the collective effort of all of humanity.
Public health is key. But public health is the non-hospital part of health. It’s the part that very rarely gets budgetary attention, and is often raided for money when an acute service is short of cash. And so public health services, all over the world, particularly in Western nations have suffered a massive relative decline in recent decades.
That’s got to stop. This world is made vulnerable by the lack of a good honeycomb network of public health services. That has to be absolutely front and center of our efforts. And so moving towards the global response, I’ve just got the following to say. Working separately, national governments will be defeated by this pandemic, as it becomes endemic in more and more places, governments will scramble to try to keep it away, but there will be enormous suffering if we go on like this. Especially because the governments that are operating independently tend not to be fully aware of the inevitability that variants, which challenged the protection offered by current vaccines will emerge. It’s biology. This must be dealt with by an integrated worldwide effort that brings together the leaders of all nations and the rest to do it together. And I’ll go on fighting for that. I’m not really fussed about who runs it. I’m just concerned that it happens.
Claudia: [00:26:15] We heard how fine the balance is between restricting movement during COVID and enabling people to make a living. We’ve got a positive story for you after the break about how another country is doing just that.
Michelle: [00:26:32] This episode of Global GoalsCast is brought to you by our listeners. That’s right, listeners like you who care about the future. Please spread the word, tell your friends about Global GoalsCast. Hit the like and subscribe, and give us five stars. Thanks also to CBS News Digital and Universal Production Music.
Edie: [00:26:55] So we’ve been hearing from your old boss, Claudia David Nabarro. Now I want you to hear from mine.
With me at Bloomberg TV,
Ivan Weissman: [00:27:06] there were the worst, some of the best, absolutely.
Edie: [00:27:08] With a story about curbing the virus in Argentina.
Ivan Weissman: [00:27:13] My name is Ivan Weissman. I am a partner in a relatively new media company in Argentina called Red Acción, or Red Action. We do a lot of what I would call solution journalism. We look a lot at issues of poverty and equality. We look at the world of finance, but from a more human point of view, we look at the environmental revolution, digital revolution. And the one rule about solution-based journalism is that you have to point a problem but the story has to have examples of people around the world or in Argentina that are doing something that is working.
Edie: [00:27:53] I worked for Ivan at Bloomberg TV way back in the day. As he said, he now runs a new site that Claudia, I think, is our soulmate in Argentina, finding people who are solving challenges.
Ivan Weissman: [00:28:10] Well, people that don’t know Argentina since the return of democracy in 1983, you’ve had a succession of fail administrations. The Macri government was the first non-Peronist. Peronist is the movement that has run Argentina for like a hundred years. It’s the first non-Peronist government that is quote unquote, allowed to finish their term, but with an economy in crumbles.
It’s a country that is very lovable and people when they live for you, they really do. And it’s very family and friends orientated, but I think that’s also a defense mechanism in which they don’t trust any institution. They don’t trust companies. They don’t trust the government.
Claudia: [00:28:51] Trust is so essential and at the center of solving this issue and beating this pandemic. As the Edelman Trust Barometer mentions Edie, there’s a dual pandemic. One is on information and the other one is on health. And information and health are absolutely related when it comes to trust.
Edie: [00:29:13] Right Claudia. And if you remember, we had a whole episode on trust and vaccines in a previous Global GoalsCast.
I called Ivan to ask how Argentina was containing COVID-19.
Ivan Weissman: [00:29:30] In the case of Argentina, a country that has gone from a middle class country to a poor country with a middle class, but it’s poor, 47% of the population are poor. More than 50% of kids under 17 are poor. And half of the economy is informal. So those informal workers, they got to go out and eat.
They got to go and get their job and get paid. And so it’s tough for them to obey the rules. And plus you add to that, the skepticism that it seems to be happening all over the world about democracy and government and people don’t believe and trust the leaders. And you have a combination that has made Latin America the worst place in the world for COVID, you know, that’s where the most deaths are, the most cases per capita and Latin America has 3% of people vaccinated and the most deaths and the most cases. So it’s a, it’s a tough Cocktail.
Edie: [00:30:27] Tough cocktail, indeed. David Nebarro keeps telling us we can’t wait for the vaccine to stop the pandemic. In Argentina, they listened. You know Claudia, Buenos Aires is such a beautiful city.
Also one where the rich and poor live close together.
Claudia: [00:30:45] Much like New York or Mexico City. In fact Edie, in Buenos Aires, there’s this highway, Villa 31. And on one side you have the richest neighborhood and on the other, the poorest. So the community came up with a plan to contain the virus in ways that everybody could live with.
Ivan Weissman: [00:31:03] So what they did is that they kind of divided the villia, the neighborhood into blocks, or let’s say five blocks, with the help eventually of the city authorities. So all the people in those five blocks, they can move around within those five square blocks. To move to other parts of the villia, they have people checking your temperature, you have testers.
So you have these big bubbles. It’s not just a couple of families, it’s a couple of thousand people within four or five square blocks. And they say, okay, these supermarkets can open. So they have managed to create that lockdown, but you don’t have to stay inside your house because it’s unrealistic and it’s also not that very healthy, especially in the winter of 10 people with windows closed living in 80 square feet.
So those are the sort of big bubbles that they have, and it’s worked. The raid in the poor neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires has been actually completely contained after the first wave, and the second wave hasn’t been hit nearly as hard as other parts of the country or the city.
Edie: [00:32:06] Argentina’s tech industry stepped up.
Ivan Weissman: [00:32:11] They created this programs, which at the beginning, they were hard to implement because Argentina has only 50% of the people who use a bank account. So basically how do you get the cash to them? Well, that is a great solution journalism story. The boom of the FinTech industry. The Amazon of Latin America is called MercadoLibre, which is an Argentine company, and they have a digital wallet called MercadoPago and then you pay with a QR code. And there’s a bunch of other really good fintechs that exploded.
So the government realized that they could send the money through this payment mechanism, applications, and apps. So that’s been actually a positive story. You got more people involved in the financial sector. It’s boomed. Everybody now uses the app on the phone because even poor people have cell phones.
Edie: [00:32:59] The point, as David Nabarro keeps saying, we can curb this virus everywhere even before vaccines arrive.
Claudia, I read a pretty interesting article by Gordon Brown today in the FT. He argues it’s time for the politics to catch up with the science. The only way to maximize vaccine production and to immunize the world is for the richest countries to underwrite the cost incurred by the poorest.
Claudia: [00:33:36] And indeed it is something that we have seen before.
Edie: [00:33:40] And I am worried about the Serum Institute. The world is depending on them. It’s in India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, and they’re not exporting anything. They’re supposed to be the main supplier to COVAX. And we heard why, because India is suffering. The world is just so out of whack with where we need to be everywhere.
Claudia: [00:34:05] With me not never being in politics or wanting to be in politics well, not denying being political, if I would be a president, for example, president Biden, man, this is a huge opportunity to restore or heal relationships with other places in the world where the relationship might be fragmented, trust has been erased, some bruises have been created. He promised another 20 million doses, which is a great gesture. But in a world that needs billions of doses, I mean, I don’t know. If I would be Biden or maybe his foreign policy advisor, I would say that this is the biggest impact that he could have as a president, healing relationships that are needed in the past. And that this is an important area.
I met Tom Freston, the former CEO of Viacom and now part of the board of One and Product Red. He told me about these amazing campaign that they produced and they’re airing in MTV and other places for young people called Pandemica. And so Pandemica is in imaginary planet that everyone that is not vaccinated is at.
So that’s the worst place that you can ever be if you’re like experiencing something like a pandemic, but actually that is a reality for so many countries that don’t have the access to the vaccine. And so this campaign is aimed to create some social awareness and youth advocacy to tell their own leaders, like please stop vaccinating me, I’m not at risk. I’m 15 years old. I’m 18 years old, produce more and start distributing. And at that’s actually what one aims to be doing, which is putting pressure on the G7 countries that they do precisely that. Produce more and distribute more. As simple as that.
Edie: [00:35:54] That is fantastic. I love it. And we can put that into the actions as well.
David said that it was essential for everyone with a voice to speak out. We are working for the health of everybody and not just a select few. So Claudia, you and I are using our voices to stand up for those who are shouting, and can’t be heard from Nepal, from India, from the other countries we have listened to today.
Claudia: [00:36:26] So Edie, for everyone and anyone, Global GoalsCast is very proud to always present to you the three facts that you can know and show off with your mother-in-law. When you’re having dinner with any friend and say like, did you know. And also the actions, the actions that you can take in your daily life to join the group of Avengers that are saving the world and doing their part to make this planet a better world.
So let’s start with fact number one. The Act Accelerator, the global partnership to deliver the test treatments and vaccines the world needs to bring an end to the pandemic. And that is lacking $18.5 billion of funding for this year. That is a lot of money, but it’s only a tiny fraction of a percentage of the trillions of dollars recovering spending now under way to treat the economic fallout of COVID-19.
So fact number one is the Act Accelerator is lacking $18.5 billion, which sounds like a lot, but in reality is pretty much peanuts.
Edie: [00:37:32] Fact number two. Nine people are dying from COVID every single minute, and people will continue to die. As long as the global disparity in vaccines persists, the development of COVID-19 vaccines is a triumph of science, but they’re inequitable distribution is a failure for humanity.
Claudia: [00:37:55] And the fact number three, almost 90% of all vaccines administered globally have been in G-20 countries. No surprise, but good to have us some number to put out on the table when you’re talking to your mother-in-law.
Now Edie, let’s go to the actions. I saw you had a second job, and I know you took an action straight after that.
Edie: [00:38:16] I did. I had my jab, and with the arm that wasn’t in pain, I went to gogiveone.org and gave 10 vaccines directly to COVAX. Gogiveone.org could not be easier.
Claudia: [00:38:30] That is quite good. Action number two, raise your voice. Talk about these, put pressure, make sure that people understand that it is time for the developed countries to actually produce and share more vaccines so that the entire world is vaccinated. As long as we’re not all vaccinated, we might have a relapse. So come on, raise your voice and talk about this issue.
Edie: [00:38:55] And action number three, Claudia, you mentioned Pandemica, we want you to go have a look at it and share it.
Claudia: [00:39:01] Yes. And that is on one.org, onecampaign.org.
So Edie, this is a wrap. Thank you so much for this episode, important, relevant, and exciting to be at this time time of history.
Edie: [00:39:18] Absolutely. And so thank you so much for being with us, dear listeners, and a massive thanks to David Nabarro, Thuy, Catherine, everyone at 4SD for this partnership in bringing you this episode.
If you liked this episode, please give us five stars. Share it on all of your social networks and subscribe.
Claudia: [00:39:42] Thank you so much, everybody. See you. Next time.
Edie: [00:39:45] Bye-bye.
Claudia: [00:39:46] Adios!
Michelle: [00:39:51] Global GoalsCast was hosted by Edie Lush and Claudia Romo Edelman. We are editorial gurued by Mike Oreskes. Editing and sound production by Simon James. Our operations director is Michelle Cooperider.
Music in this episode was courtesy of Universal Production Music, one of the world’s leading production music companies, creating and licensing music for film, television, advertising, broadcast, and other media, including podcasts.
Original music by Neil Hale, Angelica Garcia, Simon James, Katie Crone, and Andrew Phillips. Thanks also to CBS News Digital.