There’s good Covid-19 news in some nations. But the pandemic is worse than ever elsewhere
India on Thursday tallied a record high of 126,000 new cases in a single day. Iraq, Turkey, Cuba, Argentina and Chile are putting up new peaks in Covid-19 infections. Even in the US, where 3 million vaccines are administered every day, a surge of new cases is underway, as younger people fall prey to new variants.
Even countries that are succeeding in driving back the virus will be threatened if Covid-19 keeps raging everywhere else. New mutations could emerge that sidestep the existing vaccines. And full economic recovery will never be possible with half the world’s borders closed to commerce and tourism. That’s why global health experts have called for available vaccines to be more equitably shared between rich and poor nations.
The pandemic made a mockery of globalization as nations retreated behind their borders. It’s hard to imagine a political leader looking after foreign populations before taking care of residents at home. President Joe Biden has made tentative steps and promises to help out needy nations, but that’s only once the US has satisfied domestic demand for vaccines.
The global leadership that has been lacking throughout the last year needs to kick in soon, or the pandemic will drag on for many more months, or even years.
Biden says his efforts don’t infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Republican insist that they do. This too may be tough for foreigners to understand.
Speaking in the Rose Garden on Thursday, Biden glumly acknowledged the struggle to convince Washington to act on gun control. “We’ve got a long way to go,” he said, “it seems like we’ve always got a long way to go.”