Aceso Global CEO Maureen Lewis wrote a letter published in the Financial Times on the need for increased US support of Latin America’s fight against COVID-19.
It is reprinted below.
The surge in support from the US and Europe to help combat India’s spiralling Covid-19 infection rate is admirable and much needed (“The tragedy of India’s deadly second wave”).
However the US urgency and its priorities in this case are in sharp contrast to its indifference to the tragedy that continues to rage on its doorstep in Latin America.
The absolute numbers in India today compare with those in Brazil a month ago, but there was neither acknowledgment of nor action to support an out-of-control coronavirus in Brazil. Similarly, Peru, Panama, Chile, Argentina and much of the rest of the continent have faced second and third waves of Covid-19, again with no response from the US.
If we compare case and mortality rates, adjusting for population size, India’s case rate is 133 per 100,000. Its mortality rate 14 per 100,000. In contrast, Brazil and Peru’s figures are 679 and 534, respectively, and the death rates 186 and 182.
As its southern neighbours struggle with waves of Covid-19 and its associated death rates, the lack of attention, acknowledgment and action from the US is appalling.
Supporting India in its battle against Covid-19 should provide an impetus for the US to look closer to home and extend assistance to countries in the region struggling to manage the same scourge.
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