On the anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is easy to feel like everything has changed.
But it hasn’t. The past year is remarkable not for the lessons that we learned, but for the determination of governments, philanthropists, and pharmaceutical corporations to preserve a broken status quo.
There are only two choices. One path leads us backwards — to a planet of neglect, where the global rich shield themselves with the bodies of the global poor. The other leads to life — to a planet of care, equality, and popular sovereignty.
On the anniversary of Covid-19, we are writing a ‘Manifesto for Human Life.’
Join Noam Chomsky, Vanessa Nakate, Nnnimmo Bassey, Áurea Carolina de Freitas e Silva, and Elizabeth Victoria Gomez Alcorta — Sign your name.
First, a People’s Vaccine for Covid-19. No one country can end the pandemic alone; Covid-19 anywhere is a threat to public health everywhere. A system truly premised on global health would guarantee open access to all know-how for the COVID-19 vaccine and production across the globe.
Second, a World Health Organization that can work for world health. It is time to free the WHO from the constraints of rich countries, private funders, and bad ideas of big financial institutions. A free WHO would help build the regional and national public health systems that enhance self-determination.
Third, private capital must be made to submit to public health. The plain objective of “Big Pharma” is to profit from people falling ill. To enshrine a global right to life, we must begin from the principle of free and universal healthcare, shifting from private to public provision.
Fourth, human life is not a bargaining chip. A true global health system will end medical sanctions and adopt cooperation over aggression and provision over policing.
Finally, pride of place for our carers. ‘Essential’ workers have been hailed as heroes but dehumanized in practice: underpaid and overworked. Workers must be trained, protected, paid, and their right to organise respected.
Support our demands for human life. Sign your name.