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Declaring “moral bankruptcy”

WHO chief says we should not discount elderly COVID-19 deaths


World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/pool/AFP (file)

Declaring “moral bankruptcy”

GLOBAL: The number of cases of the coronavirus around the world surpassed 25 million over the weekend, and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus gave a moving conclusion to his regular Monday briefing: “When the elderly [are] dying, it’s not fine. It’s a moral bankruptcy. We should not be morally dead. Every life, whether it is young or old, is precious. And we have to do everything to save it.”

In his summary remarks, Ghebreyesus said the WHO supports efforts to reopen economies and societies, but “we want to see it done safely,” adding, “If countries are serious about opening up, they must be serious about suppressing transmission and saving lives.”

The first news on vaccines is expected in October—and all eyes will be on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but also the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which will determine availability. Barron’s reports:

“‘The critical step is, does [the ACIP] recommend the vaccine for widespread use?’ Dr. Geoffrey Porges says. ‘We think that’s highly unlikely.’ He expects the committee to recommend any vaccine in the short term only for people at very high risk.”

The European Commission announced it will contribute nearly $500 million to the COVAX Facility, the global effort aimed at distributing vaccines equitably throughout the world. That boost is likely to increase competition with the United States, China, and others who are not partners in the COVAX project.

INDIA on Sunday reported the biggest single-day jump in COVID-19 infections of any nation during the pandemic. With its current death rate of about 1.8 percent, that caseload translates to 1,440 deaths per day in the coming weeks—with already the third-highest death toll after the United States and Brazil.

SOUTH KOREA: Political leaders face a daunting debate over whether to impose stringent coronavirus restrictions in the face of rising cases.

JAPAN: Shinzo Abe resigned the same week he became his country’s longest-serving prime minister. The loss of a staunch U.S. ally, who resigned for health reasons, comes at a difficult time as Abe played a key role in countering China under Xi Jinping.

CHINA: Is China facing a food crisis?

MONTENEGRO: The independence of the Montenegrin church was at the heart of parliamentary elections Sunday, with pro-Serb and Russian opposition groups claiming a narrow victory against the ruling pro-Western party—which pushed the tiny breakaway to join NATO in 2017 and pressed for church independence.

SPAIN: Wildfires in the southern region of Andalusia are forcing more than 3,100 people to evacuate.

U.K.: Activists are renewing a push to legalize assisted suicide, despite evidence of unwanted deaths under such laws in other European countries

NORTH KOREA: Echo of Truth newscaster Un A is giving a new look to oft-parodied “news” from Pyongyang. With broadcasts frequently in English and French now, the Communist regime is going for an international vibe in state-run news.


Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C.

@mcbelz

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