ONE World: Global pandemic demands global response

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people all over the world are increasingly standing in solidarity with each other to beat the virus. But as we live through this, the cold hard fact about the COVID-19 pandemic is clear – it will inevitably wreak its worst on the people, communities, and countries that are least able to withstand the shock. Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.

If the virus is moving faster than we are, it’s winning. But, the good news is that we know some of what it will take for the world to defeat this:

Science, data, and facts

The world’s epidemiologists are collaborating across borders to track the facts as the virus moves around the globe. They compile the data every day and, because of them, we know more each day than we did the day before.

They can’t predict the future, but they can project it — and they’re the people everyone needs to listen to. It’s the world’s scientists who are working 24/7 to give us therapeutics, medicines, and — one day — the vaccine we need to strike a massive blow to the virus.

A unified global strategy

We need global cooperation like we’ve never seen it before.

The tactics needed to move faster than the virus are in our hands — and many of them are being deployed in individual countries, states, regions, and communities. But we need to bring this all together so that the world is using monitoring; mitigation; orderly supply chains for protective gear and medical supplies; and support from and for the world’s healthcare workers as they care for us.

We need global cooperation like we’ve never seen it before. That means reviving the multilateralism that too many politicians have damaged or ignored over the past few years. That means working together as one world.

Effective leadership

Leaders need to lead like leaders, not as politicians. They need to inspire citizens’ confidence, speak the truth, and make decisions based on science and not on opinion or political point-scoring. This virus is bigger than all of us and it feeds on partisanship divides.

Global action and leadership is needed to win, and that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.

Of course, every leader in every country must focus first and foremost on their citizens. But global leadership is needed — fast. Leaders should take a page from citizens all over the world who are showing us what solidarity looks like. And they need to act as a matter of fact and science. If the virus is allowed to move unchecked in some countries or regions, it will move and resurge in others — we’re already seeing it.

Global action and leadership is needed to win, and that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.

People standing together as one

Viruses don’t pay attention to borders or geographies, so neither can we. People need to keep standing together, supporting each other, and acting on the simple premise that this pandemic is bigger than all of us and we’ll defeat it if we stand and act as one.

We stand with the most vulnerable, whether they live across the street or across the ocean.

We’re going to stand with our communities, in every neighborhood, town, city, and country where we live. That includes standing with Africa and the people and countries that are most vulnerable to the threats posed by the pandemic. This is about principle, and solidarity, and what’s right.

But it’s also about what’s smart: we can’t defeat a global pandemic anywhere unless we win everywhere. We’re going to organize, mobilize, activate, and advocate around three key lines of effort:

  • The emergency response: We need to mobilize the resources for a humanitarian response in Africa on a scale not seen in decades. And we need to make sure medicines and eventually new vaccines are distributed equitably. All game-changing innovations need to be deployed transparently and fairly in order to defeat a global pandemic driven by a virus that doesn’t discriminate.
  • Sustaining economies: We’ve already seen the economic impact of the pandemic in the US and Europe. The impact could be even greater in Africa, where capital is urgently needed now to tackle the immediate consequences. But much, much more will be needed, including debt relief, special facilities, and support for anchor and small businesses.
  • Global health security: In order to defeat global pandemics like COVID-19, we need to build the capacity of all countries to prevent, detect, and respond to global health threats. This will take global resources, but response preparations cost far less than managing global pandemics after they happen. None of us are safe unless all of us are safe.

We are ONE World and it’s time to fight for humanity and against the virus. This is a global pandemic that demands a global response. We stand with the most vulnerable, whether they live across the street or across the ocean.

Safety requires solidarity. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.

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