ONE reacts to Trump’s “America First” executive order

WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s  executive order on COVID-19 vaccines. 

Tom Hart, North America executive director at The ONE Campaign:

This is a misguided step from the Trump administration that will extend the life of the pandemic, prolong the economic crisis, and endanger Americans. While we strongly believe that Americans should have access to an effective vaccine, the fact is if we don’t get this vaccine everywhere, the pandemic is not going anywhere. This is a global pandemic and unless we ensure the most vulnerable and at-risk around the world have access to a vaccine, this virus will continue to cross borders and wreak havoc in the US and beyond.”

Background: 

This strategy will cost lives: Research shows that in a scenario where a vaccine is not distributed fairly, twice as many people could die as the virus continues to wreak havoc on the world. If a vaccine is distributed exclusively to high-income countries first, the world will only avoid 33% of COVID-19 related deaths. But, if a vaccine is distributed to every country on the globe proportionally to its population rather than prioritizing high-income countries, the world could avoid 61% of COVID-19 related deaths. 

Additionally, the economic cost of not distributing a vaccine everywhere would be enormous. A recent study found that vaccine nationalism could cost the global economy up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP, including $127 billion in the US alone. If the poorest countries cannot access vaccines, the world could still lose between $60 and $340 billion a year in GDP. For every $1 spent on supplying poorer countries with vaccines, high-income countries would get back about $4.80.

The American people support fair access to a vaccine around the world. A recent poll of registered voters in the US found that 83 percent of Americans believe that healthcare workers, the elderly and at-risk groups anywhere in the world should be the first to get a COVID-19 vaccine, before healthy people in their own country.

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