Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it’s the responsibility of wealthy countries to help places that do not have the same level of resources or capabilities as they fight Covid-19.
The US has “really revved up their activity in helping out India,” Fauci told the Guardian Australia, adding that the country is sending oxygen, Remdesivir, PPE and other medications there. Soon, vaccine will be sent, too.
“I think that that’s a responsibility that the rich countries need to assume,” Fauci said. “Right now it’s a terrible tragic situation where people are dying because there’s not enough oxygen, where there’s not enough hospital beds. We have to try, looking forward, to get as much equity when it comes to public health issues as we possibly can."
“Because we’re all in this together. It’s an interconnected world. And there are responsibilities that countries have to each other, particularly if you’re a wealthy country and you’re dealing with countries that don’t have the resources or capabilities that you have,” he continued.
Going forward, he said, global health systems need to be upgraded so that issues can be detected sooner. Transparency and communication between countries is also essential, not just in countries like India, but also for the US.
Fauci said that although the World Health Organization was trying to accelerate support to India using the COVAX Initiative, “we have to do even more than that.”
“The only way that you’re going to adequately respond to a global pandemic is by having a global response, and a global response means equity throughout the world,” Fauci said.
“And that’s something that, unfortunately, has not been accomplished. Often when you have diseases in which there is a limited amount of intervention, be it therapeutic or prevention, this is something that all countries that are relatively rich countries or countries that have a higher income have to pay more attention to.”