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COVID-19 vaccine as a ‘global public good’

May 21, 2020

Topics: Quote of the Day

By Sarah Wheaton
POLITICO, May 18, 2020

China will treat a coronavirus vaccine developed there as a “global public good,” President Xi Jinping said Monday.

China has some of the leading candidates in the global race for an immunization, with four already in human trials. While the practical implications of Xi’s commitment remain unclear, it’s a sign that Beijing is aligning itself, at least rhetorically, with a broader movement to ensure equal access to coronavirus breakthroughs.

“COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good,” Xi told the World Health Assembly at its virtual gathering. “This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.”

Xi’s announcement could further isolate the U.S., which has taken steps to control exports of an experimental treatment and was subject of rumors that it wanted to secure exclusive access to a vaccine.

Washington also objected to casting coronavirus remedies as “global public goods” in a resolution about the COVID-19 response expected to be adopted by World Health Organization member countries on Tuesday. Global public goods could be subject to weaker intellectual property protections or other measures to reduce their costs and make them more widely available.


Trump Administration Announces Framework and Leadership for ‘Operation Warp Speed’

HHS.gov, May 15, 2020

On Friday, the Trump Administration announced the appointment of Moncef Slaoui as chief advisor and General Gustave F. Perna as chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the administration’s national program to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (medical countermeasures).

Dr. Slaoui is a venture capitalist and, formerly, Chairman of Global Research and Development and Chairman of Global Vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline.


Trump fires back against China’s ‘massive disinformation campaign’ about coronavirus

By Dom Calicchio
Fox News, May 21, 2020

President Trump unleashed a series of scathing tweets Wednesday night in response to what he called a “massive disinformation campaign” launched by the Chinese government regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump and other critics have also accused the WHO of echoing Chinese propaganda regarding the virus instead of acting as impartial and vigilant guardians of global health.


WHO Director-General’s closing remarks at the World Health Assembly

World Health Organization, May 19, 2020


For everything COVID-19 has taken from us, it has also given us something:

A reminder of what really matters;

And the opportunity to forge a common future.

Dark and difficult days may lie ahead, but guided by science, together we will overcome.

Let hope be the antidote to fear.

Let solidarity be the antidote to division.

Let our shared humanity be the antidote to our shared threat.

Now, more than ever.



By Don McCanne, M.D.

At the virtual meeting of the World Health Organization this week, China expressed its intent to produce a much needed COVID-19 vaccine as a “global public good.” The Trump administration has launched “Operation Warp Speed” apparently in an effort to dominate the world market for the vaccine.

At a time that the world needs to be working together in controlling this terrible pandemic, today President Trump responds with belligerence towards China and the World Health Organization. He accuses WHO of not acting as impartial and vigilant guardians of global health. But that’s precisely what they are doing. President Trump has cut off funding and threatened to withdraw from WHO indicating that it is he who is not acting as an impartial and vigilant guardian of global health.

Stay informed! Visit www.pnhp.org/qotd to sign up for daily email updates.

About the Commentator, Don McCanne

Don McCanne is a retired family practitioner who dedicated the 2nd phase of his career to speaking and writing extensively on single payer and related issues. He served as Physicians for a National Health Program president in 2002 and 2003, then as Senior Health Policy Fellow. For two decades, Don wrote "Quote of the Day", a daily health policy update which inspired HJM.

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