World Leaders Call for Equity in COVID-19 Recovery

July 21, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified July 22, 2020

A recent article in Medscape discusses the Virtual COVID-19 Conference 2020 and world leaders at the meeting, organized by the International AIDS Society.

Equitable access should be a key consideration when public health systems are rebuilt in the wake of COVID-19, said Michael Ryan, MD, executive director of the Health Emergencies Programme at the World Health Organization (WHO), who called this “a critical point in the pandemic.”

“We cannot become distracted by retrospection and finger pointing,” said the former trauma surgeon. “We can choose to see this as an opportunity to learn and grow instead of casting blame or putting our heads in the sand. This could turn out to be the greatest era of change there has ever been, or it could be our greatest missed opportunity.”

Ryan is not alone in calling for equity as a crucial component of COVID-19 recovery. Many of the world leaders at this meeting echoed his call. “If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidder instead of to the people and the places where they are most needed, we’ll have a longer, more unjust, deadlier pandemic,” said Bill Gates, cochair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

And António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, called for effective treatments and “a people’s vaccine” to be available for “everyone, everywhere as a global public good.”

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