“NYU Medical Center” | Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr/CC BY 2.0
“Covid-19 is here to stay, and it will continue to cause outbreaks year-round until herd immunity is achieved,” wrote Hassan Zaraket of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Mr. Zaraket is one of the authors in a study that looked at COVID-19 cases in 144 separate places mentioned in a Forbes Magazine article, “Will Covid-19 Become A Seasonal Virus?”
Predictably, the COVID-19 disease will undergo so-many mutations to become like the flu requiring a yearly vaccination. But many in developing nations — and even in the Less-Developed Countries (LDCs) — will not be able to afford vaccines and viral medicines. And even anti-pneumonia shots that are good for ten years may be beyond the reach of the poor. As I mentioned in Part V of this series — the “Vaccine Imperialism.” Because only the rich countries can afford the vaccines as part of their national healthcare system, they can use them as tools for “neo-imperialistic” policies against debtor countries.
A universal “herd immunity” may require vaccinating between 5- to 7-billion people annually because anti-body defenses of humans do not last years, and much more a lifetime, against most viruses. Antibiotics can efficiently fight Bacteria-caused diseases — although variants of bacteria are developing resistance to the medicine. But this will be an R&D task of the proposed B2B medical centers or “MedCenters.”
“A universal “herd immunity” may require vaccinating between 5- to 7-billion people annually because anti-body defenses of humans do not last years, and much more a lifetime, against most viruses.”
President Biden is the chief executive of the world’s biggest economy and number one superpower (insofar as military resources are concerned). If he wants, he can lead a global effort to end “Vaccine Imperialism.” Mr. Biden can persuade the leaders of the world’s strongest economies and most prosperous societies to come together in forming a global consortium in dealing with pandemics and other healthcare needs. Why the need for such a universal consortium? The answer is, “It is elementary, Mr. Watson.” For if viral-caused epidemics and pandemics result in millions of casualties in hundreds of countries, who will buy the exports (of goods, services, and state-of-the-art technologies) of the world’s biggest economies?
It was why in the previous column, we urged Mr. Biden to follow in the footsteps of President McKinley and then-Governor General Taft. President Biden can do a 21st-century version of the first American “MedCenter.” Build them in some 50-countries, starting with “reinventing” its prototype, following the Philippines’ success in the 1900s.
Why go for 50 country locations for the “MedCenters”? Because 193 sovereign states are United Nations (UN) members, the world’s largest inter-governmental organization. All of them have equal representation in the UN General Assembly.
“Funding the various back-to-basics (B2B) projects that President Biden can champion is doable. The project can have lasting impacts not only on health issues but also on peace among even warring nations.”
Funding the various back-to-basics (B2B) projects that President Biden can champion is doable. The project can have lasting impacts not only on health issues but also on peace among even warring nations. He can leave the projects as his legacy to his successors at the Oval Office to emulate, broaden in scope and magnitude so that all of the coming US presidents and world leaders succeed beyond the metaphorical “wildest dreams” of Mr. Biden and his Team.
This column has explained so far suggestions on how to fund the various initiatives that may be pursued by a Biden B2B Doctrine. We have suggested it to Mr. Biden and also discussed lately the source of funding. Here are some of them, which readers can still read in the series’ archive of the Philippine Daily Mirror.
- Turning American (and the other powerful countries’) economic and military aid (E&MA) into investments. I will discuss concrete examples of how the E&MA — as investments — can work into more-beneficial and peaceful projects in the next installment of this presentation.
- Helping Mexico become the world’s 5th-biggest economy. It will usher in more Mexican participation and contribute to Central and South American and the Caribbean’s socio-economic development. Countries like the Philippines (which has a 456-year history of friendship with Mexico) can help industrialize the United States’ southern neighbor. For instance, Americans of Filipino descent want to construct a series of retirement villages called “Pueblo Filipino” on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Perhaps its principal proponent, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, can write a summary of his economic vision that he so eloquently described in a symposium in Santa Monica, CA, in April 2014.
- Persuading the world’s biggest polluters to contribute more in taxes and charitable contributions. These giant multinational firms must also agree and help “reinvent” labor unions into “workers’ cooperatives” that can pour in more resources to their respective employers, aside from raising productivity and social gratification. It will surely pave the way to turn “crony capitalism” into “cooperative capitalism.”
- Adopting the “I2D2” proposal of James D. Robinson III, as improved and expanded in this series, into the states’ pension funds (and also of the U.S. Postal Service employees’). The I2D2 will help them become extremely solvent. They, in turn, can aid the debtor-nations to achieve socio-economic empowerment. As written in the series, President Biden may find it easy to call several ethnic communities to the White House. He can encourage the Mexican, Filipino, and other multi-ethnic groups (that earn hundreds of billions of dollars each year) to buy I2D2 bonds guaranteed by the Central Bank of their country of origin, the US Federal, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.
- And the shareholders of and participating countries (and their respective Central Banks) in the “I2D2” may start not only the conversion of outstanding loans of debtor countries into bonds but also what this writer (for want of a better name) dubs the “I2D2 Cryptocurrency.” Or this acronym, “I2D2Crypto$,” that may replace the “Gold Standard.” It may happen if Central Banks of the debtor and creditor countries and multilateral agencies involved in the I2D2 solution guarantee these cryptocurrencies. Perhaps this will merit a commentary (as Part VIII of this series) by distinguished financial experts like James D. Robinson III, his son, James Robinson IV, or their associates — as guest columnists.