“The disease is not a great leveller, the consequences of which everyone rich and poor suffers the same,” Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis said in April.
She may have been responding to Michael Gove, a Cabinet minister who said coronavirus “does not discriminate” between anyone.
But we know that Boris Johnson (and indeed Donald Trump) received the best of care when they contracted Covid-19. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this on its own, questions were raised about why the same standard was not available to the thousands perishing per day from the virus.
Now a vaccine has arrived, the effects of medical colonialism and inequality will be laid bare once again.
While Brits receive their first jab in the coming weeks, Economist Intelligence Unit suggests that the vaccine won’t be available in Africa until 2022 or 2023.
It’s more likely that the entire population of nations like the US and Britain will be vaccinated before African nations have any chance of reaching the magical 60 per cent threshold for herd immunity.
Richer nations could, of course, do something about this fairly easily, but why would a country who have just cut foreign aid even consider that?
Another high-profile figure who took the issue of inequality to the table was Yanis Varoufakis. The former Greek Finance Minister clashed with John Bolton over US foreign policy and diplomacy – read the write-up only on Redaction Politics.
In another call to arms, independent MP Jeremy Corbyn demanded Biden seek some form of talks with Iran to avoid a potential catastrophe in the Middle East. Read the full write-up of his discussion with Tariq Ali now:
BIDEN AND DIPLOMACY
We continue our series on Biden’s foreign policy challenges and potential philosophy with articles on Bolivia and India.
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