For two reasons, US isn't participating in global plan for COVID vaccine
Countries around the globe are collaborating on developing a vaccine. Why isn't the U.S. participating?
it's called the Kovacs facility. It's kind of a big deal. Oh. Earlier this week, the World Health Organization announced what has been dubbed the Kovacs facility. It's basically a global effort to find, develop and distribute a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine toe every country in the world on. The goal is to get about two billion coronavirus vaccine doses, UM, to buy them and to deploy them around the world by the end of 2021 on the way it works is that wealthy countries and poor countries alike sign up for the facility. That means they agree to participate, and the money that wealthy countries put in is used to offset the expense that poor countries will incur because they can't afford to buy the vaccine themselves. So far, 156 countries have signed up to the facility, including 60 for high income countries, which is really important, and another 38 high income countries air actually expected to join in the coming days. Unfortunately, the United States is not on that list, so there's two main reasons that the United States has declined to participate in the Kovacs facility. The first reason is obviously that it's being led. Like I said, in part by the World Health Organization on President, Trump and his administration have indicated very clearly that they plan to withdraw from the World Health Organization by next summer. The second reason the United States is not participating is that it's pursuing its own nationalistic vaccine program called Operation Warp Speed. And so the thing about Operation Warp speed is that these vaccines that are being developed with taxpayer dollars are for the United States on Lee. Look, I get it. We're a very individualistic nation, and we're in a very America first moment. Right now. We spend probably more than any country in the world on research and development for biomedical products, including vaccines. And it's not hard to understand why. Certain people would argue if we put the money in, the vaccine should come to us. But it's really bad global health strategy, Even if you only care about Americans, even if you feel very America first yourself, it's not the right strategy for us. It's touched off this kind of wave of other countries basically wanting to do the exact same thing, so you have lots of other countries. You know China and other countries in Europe and elsewhere, basically following the United States lead and cutting side deals with each other and in some cases trying a hack each other's vaccine development programs. And basically, what you have is all the countries around the world, especially the high income countries working against each other in this kind of global arms race to develop a vaccine. Eso I think there's several reasons to worry about this, but here's three big ones. First, vaccine supply chains are necessarily global. Okay, in some of these vaccines, you have ingredients that come from tree bark in Chile and other ingredients that are made in labs Onley. In Sweden, you need lots of different things that come from different places all over the world to make a vaccine. That's true for basic supplies like swabs and mask. It's 10 times more true for the very complicated ingredients that go into a vaccine, even if you only care about vaccinating Americans. If you don't care about anyone else anywhere in the world, you still need those other countries to reach your goal, which is vaccinating Americans. We need each other whether we like it or not. Second, a multilateral approach is the best way for us to hedge our bets. Okay, so Operation Warp Speed has x number of vaccines in its portfolio, and the Kovacs facility has X number of vaccines in its portfolio. Each one has a different combination of vaccines that it's pursuing the best strategy for Americans to make sure that we get a least one effective vaccine is to spread our bet on a many of them is possible if we do operation warp speed and we do Kovacs, we have that many more options. We have that many more chances of getting this right of hitting on the actual vaccine that's gonna work. Third, the best way to protect US citizens and the U. S economy is actually to vaccinate people around the world, not just in the United States. Vaccinating even a very large portion of the United States will not stop this thing by itself because it's going to continue to fester in other parts of the world. The only way to stop that is to make sure that those other parts of the world also have vaccinations again. Even if you're the most America first person in the world. You have to realize that this is a global problem and it needs a global solution. If you let it fester like flu does, it's just going to keep circling back to the United States. That's how viruses work. That's how they travel around the world. You see it every year with flu. You've seen it with other diseases. You're going to see it with. This is well, so those air, all of the geopolitical America first reasons to support the Kovacs facility. But there's 1/4 reason that I want to talk about It's the right thing to do. Look, we shouldn't have to be persuaded to help other countries that don't have the resources to develop their own vaccines like that's a moral imperative. It's not something that should have to be argued