I was eating lunch on Monday when the alert came on my phone. Just as I had feared congressional legislators had come to an agreement to fund only domestic COVID measures. This is why losing coaches are the ones who never think what the consequences of their actions will be.
On one level I’m glad the funding is coming. It will fund the crucial domestic fight against the pandemic. As it was (or still is until this legislation is passed and signed – does Biden have any choice but to sign it?) domestic funding had or was about to run out. I got my fourth COVID vaccination on Saturday and the only reason that was possible (aside from my insurance) is that the vaccines had been purchased with previously approved and released funds.
I’m all for America first; but that doesn’t mean America alone. We should be the largest funder of global vaccination. The $5 billion that was cut from the original proposal was earmarked to fund foreign vaccination.
There are two reasons we should be doing that. The first is that as arguably the wealthiest nation on earth we have a moral obligation. That won’t fly with today’s Republicans because they are largely an amoral group.
The practical reason is that a pandemic, by its very definition, is global. Until we contain it every place, we have contained it no place. Anyone who believes that the problem is contained by just vaccinating Americans is as foolish as those who believe a wall will solve the immigration problem. Unfortunately, I remember a lot of fools shouting, “Build the wall”.
I understand in politics that you have to compromise and that often half a loaf is better than no bread at all. This is a case where despite being good; two-thirds of a loaf is insufficient.
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