West First Policies Expose Myths

By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame SundaramSYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 31 2020 (IPS) As the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic shifts from China to the developed West, all too many rich countries are acting selfishly, invoking the ‘national interest’, by banning exports of vital medical supplies. US President Donald Trump has reportedly gone further by seeking exclusive rights to a future coronavirus vaccine, although the report has been denied by a German drug company and some investors believed to be involved. Europe first Following France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland now also want to ban the export of certain types of protective equipment and gear, prompting Stella Kyriakides, the EU Health Commissioner, to contradict them, insisting instead that “Solidarity is key”. Anis Chowdhury Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, also appealed to EU governments to reconsider their export restrictions on medical supplies, including personal protective equipment for frontline health workers. Nevertheless, the EU has since announced export restrictions on medical supplies needed for the COVID-19 pandemic to countries outside the European single market, ignoring earlier pledges when developing countries were reluctant to commit to EU-promoted ‘free trade’. This EU response may trigger export restrictions by non-EU countries which now have little reason not to turn to China and other ‘non-traditional’ suppliers instead....
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Development & Aid Economy & Trade Featured Global Headlines Health Humanitarian Emergencies TerraViva United Nations Jomo Kwame Sundaram & Anis Chowdhury Source Type: news

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