- Shalmali Guttal, executive director, Focus on the Global South
- Nick Dearden, director, Global Justice Now
- Heidi Chow, senior pharmaceuticals campaigner, Global Justice Now
Covid-19 isn’t the first new coronavirus to emerge in recent decades, but research into vaccines has been hampered by the pharmaceutical industry, for which infectious diseases often don’t represent a big enough market to justify the research spend. Now, as governments pour public money into finding a vaccine for Covid-19, we could see big pharma doing what it often does, and privatising the results.
As in other areas, the free market is holding back our ability to guarantee public health. Meanwhile the World Bank is issuing ‘pandemic bonds’, allowing investors to profiteer from providing the emergency funds countries in the global south might need to cope with the virus.
Yet the very scale of the public health and economic crisis that Covid-19 has created means we also have an opportunity – to not simply return to business as usual, but to demand that out of this comes a world shaped more around collective solidarity than the pursuit of profit by the few.
Join Global Justice Now for an online public meeting (replacing our postponed physical conference, Together We Are Powerful), to discuss the global justice issues emerging from the coronavirus crisis and what prospects there are for building a better world out of it.