To the Editor,
Has the production of pharmaceuticals become the newest weapons of mass destruction? By allowing nationalism and wealth to become the prime determinants of who receives the various COVID-19 vaccines, are we setting up future conflicts based on drugs, not nuclear weapons?
Each nation must have their own pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities to ensure a secure source of supply, says conventional wisdom. But, COVID-19 and its mutations are a universal threat to all humankind, so you would think logically the best strategy would be a co-operative, not a competitive approach to fighting this common threat.
Unfortunately, capitalism, nationalism and greed stand in the way of a collective solution. It is a bit like the dilemma that the “excited States of America” is facing in confronting systemic racism, white supremacy, gun violence, etc., etc., etc., with a nation divided.
I think that a united approach is possible if you look at some examples from history. Russians and Americans fought side by side to defeat the threat of Nazi domination. Locally, members of communities help one another in times of misfortune that happens to us all, from time to time.
We have seen examples of co-operative problem solving at the local, provincial, national and international levels, so we know it is possible, if only we have the collective will to make it happen.