Why America’s Next Covid Push Should Be Outside America

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Why America’s Next Covid Push Should Be Outside America

Published date

April 28, 2021

The unprecedented wave of COVID-19 now engulfing India and the staggeringly high death toll in Brazil pose a challenge to our conscience, and fittingly the Biden administration has already loosened some restrictions on assistance. But to get the scale of our global coronavirus response right, we need to consider it more ambitiously — as both a humanitarian issue and a threat to our national security.

The key issue right now is vaccination. Today, the U.S., EU, China and India account for 70 percent of all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, and the world’s wealthiest nations have locked up the majority of near-term supply. At the current pace, this means the world won’t reach broad immunity for years.

Instead, the virus will continue to circulate widely and new variants will emerge, as in India, threatening to pierce vaccine immunity in the United States and putting lives and economic recovery at risk. It will also be impossible to normalize travel and trade as long as the rest of the world remains a largely unvaccinated reservoir for the virus.

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Duke-Margolis Affiliated Authors


Krishna Udayakumar, MD, MBA

Director of Post-Graduate Education Initiatives, Margolis Center
Associate Professor of Global Health and Medicine
Margolis Executive Core Faculty
2020 Intern Mentor

Mark McClellan

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD

Director of the Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy
Robert J. Margolis, MD, Professor of Business, Medicine and Policy
Margolis Executive Core Faculty