“Earlier this morning (May 4th, 2020), I joined leaders from other countries, and from civil society and industry, to work together on accelerating the global development of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and testing. …We all share a common goal – ending this pandemic.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Meanwhile, United States So Far Gives the Finger to this Global Initiative, As It Prepares to Declare Itself “Open For Business”
A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by a News Release from the Government of Canada
Posted May 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
A Commentary by Doug Draper –
As doctors, nurses and medical researchers around the world work frantically to save lives and develop treatments and ultimately a cure for the killer virus that continues to plague us, how positive and promising it is to see Canada join dozens of other countries in Europe and elsewhere in a global effort to combat COV ID-19, and to find a vaccine that may forever grant us immunity from it.
That is what the mission of the recently created and launched international initiative, Coronavirus Global Response that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed in the following news release is all about.
Not so surprisingly, Trump and the purveyors of an “America First” brand of xenophobia around him – just as they have abandoned the international movement to address climate change, and have insulted and threatened many of America’s long-time friends and allies – is so far not listed as one of the countries participating in the Coronavirus Global Response initiative.
Thanks to Trump and his millions of willing enablers, the United States no longer has a constructive leadership role to play in the world any more – period.
And the rest of the world can only hope and do its best to prevent an America that is run by Trump and his band of sycophants and cronies like a totalitarian state from causing any more damage to the environment and to populations living in Canada and other countries around the globe.
With the potential damage Trump and followers can do in mind, it is important for Canadians to keep in mind that the latest extension for keeping the Canada-U.S. border closed to all but essential, commercial traffic ends around the last week of this May.
The question we need to ask ourselves and members of our federal government in Canada is this –
Given the dishonesty, recklessness and incompetence we have been witnessing from Trump’s White House for the past three or four months since the spread of COVID-19 began, and given the cover-up and corruption we continue learning about now, through disclosures from a top U.S. doctor and vaccine expert, and from others, as Trump presses to open the country up for business as usual again, do we really want to risk opening the Canada-U.S. border up to general traffic any time soon?
Many of us have turned on American cable news stations and our own CBC and seen demonstrations in a number of U.S. states, including the bordering state of Michigan, featuring an odd assortment of heavily armed libertarians and self-anointed militia, and neo-Nazis waving Trump signs and old Confederate flags, who – egged on by the self-described “stable genius” in the White House himself with tweets about “liberating” their states – are demanding an immediate end to the lock downs and all of the self-quarantining that hat, as evidence has shown, has actually worked in regions of the country where people have given it a good try.
As much as I want to visit some of my close American friends again, and I am sure others in Canada do, and as much as you hate to keep bar or punish Americans, like many in neighbouring states like New York, Vermont and Michigan who have been responsible, I ask again.
Do we really want to risk opening the Canada-U.S. border any time soon and running the risk of having some of these Trumpies who may be carrying the virus come in and causing a serious break out all over again? Especially after Canadians, for the most part, have already sacrificed so much to be responsible and bring that curve down.
From the way things have been going in Trumpland up to now, I’d be willing to leave the Canada-U.S. border closed to all but essential crossings indefinitely.
Now here is the news release on the Coronavirus Response Initiative from Canada’s federal government –
From the Office of the Prime Minister, Ottawa, Ontario
COVID-19 is a global pandemic, spread by a virus that knows no borders. No country will be able to fully recover until we beat it all around the world. We must work together, and Canada is contributing to this fight. Canadian and international researchers are racing to develop diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines that will save lives, protect the health and safety of people everywhere, and lay the groundwork for a sustainable worldwide economic recovery.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this May 4th) joined other global leaders to launch the Coronavirus Global Response. This online pledging event aims to initially raise more than $8 billion (USD) to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people, and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister highlighted that, to date, the Government of Canada has announced investments of over $850 million (CAD) that support this fundraising target. This includes funding to:
mobilize Canadian researchers’ and life sciences companies’ coronavirus research and development of medical countermeasures;
support accelerated vaccine development, including through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and other partners;
- find a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 through the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial;
- coordinate a COVID-19 viral and host genome sequencing effort across Canada;
- help provide COVID-19 diagnostic support to more than 20 partner countries; and
- create strategies to tackle misinformation, stigma, and fear.
In today’s interconnected world, the global health system relies on the strength of all regions to ensure a sustainable global recovery. That is why the government is providing funding to support some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, and working with international partners as they coordinate and prioritize response efforts in vulnerable countries.
We are aiming to maximize global benefits from these investments, and we are committed to helping to ensure that once a vaccine is developed, it will be produced at a scale and cost accessible to all countries.
The Government of Canada is committed to a robust global effort to stop COVID-19 and address its devastating health, social, and economic impacts on people across the world. We will work together with our partners to end this pandemic and to build a safe and prosperous future for everyone.
“None of us is immune to the effects of COVID-19, and none of us can beat the virus alone. Only by protecting each other can we protect ourselves. Canada is ready to help lead a coordinated global response which will contribute to overcoming the pandemic. Together, we will win.” – The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“COVID-19 is a threat that does not recognize borders and will only be overcome through coordinated global action. We need to continue working together as partners to make a future treatment or vaccine available, accessible and affordable to all. If ever there was a time to realize we’re all in this together, it is now.” – The Hon. Karina Gould, Minister of International Development
The Coronavirus Global Response initiative is an international online pledging event co-hosted by Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Spain, Norway, the United Kingdom, Japan, Saudi Arabia as the current G20 presidency, and Italy as the future G20 presidency.
The initiative seeks to:
- kick-start an unprecedented global cooperation between scientists and regulators, industry and governments, international organizations, foundations, and health care professionals;
- raise more than $8 billion (USD) by the end of the pledging period to support the development of rapid coronavirus diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines; and
- work with the World Health Organization to coordinate and prioritize efforts to vulnerable countries.
The funds collected will be channelled into three principal strands: diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. Funds may also be used to strengthen health systems.
Click on the screen below to listen to European Commission President Ursula von der Legen discuss the purpose of the Coronavirus Global Response initiative –
NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.