October 23, 2021
Economy

Why can’t we tackle Covid and climate heating? Nationalism and stupidity | Nick Cohen

Even if you think humans are nothing more than a selfish, tribal species who care little for anyone beyond our clans and ourselves, the failure to vaccinate the world remains astonishing. It is not only a moral affront that rich nations are leaving millions to die needless deaths but an assault on our own self-interest.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that the world economy risks losing $4.5tn (£3.3tn) by 2025 if Covid-19 spreads unchecked. Gordon Brown, the World Health Organization’s new ambassador for global health financing, tells me the cost of supplying enough vaccines to inoculate all poor nations is about £70bn.

In countries with rudimentary health services the usual problems of delivery remain, but no one doubts that trillions of dollars could be unlocked by the spending of a sum that is trifling in comparison. Yet the rich world won’t spend. Nor will it act to…

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