COVID-19 was a "preventable disaster" that became a pandemic due a lack "global political leadership," according to a recent report issued by a WHO-appointed high-level panel co-chaired by former Liberian President Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Laureate and Africa’s first democratically elected female head of state, and Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand.
The United States will endorse a motion at the World Trade Organization seeking to waive draconian patent and related intellectual property protections that have thus far prevented the world from achieving global COVID-19 vaccines equity, the Biden-Harris administration announced this week. Pope Francis announced his support of “universal access to the vaccine” and condemned the “virus of individualism” that “makes us indifferent to the suffering of others”.
"It is not surprising, therefore, that there is now a vast global coalition of NGOs, states and UN agencies that favour the recognition of vaccines (and health in general) as a public good and not a business, and the consequent temporary suspension of patent rights."
This week, the global death toll from COVID-19 topped 3 million, and cases topped 140 million, two heartbreaking milestones accompanied by burgeoning global COVID-19 vaccine “apartheid”, emerging deadly virus variants and mutations, increasing prevalence of vaccine “blood clots” and side-effects, vaccination pauses and restrictions, and the racist politics around the global distribution of life-saving vaccines.
South African white supremacists have long bolstered global white victimhood, anti-Black racism, far right extremism and QAnon conspiracy theories. They participated in the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol by pro-Trump white nationalists, far-right extremists, white supremacists and QAnon adherents.
“Access to contraception and the ability to control fertility empowers women,” says 82-year old abortion rights advocate, Judy Kahrl. Plus Mary Lyons, a Minnesota Ojibwe elder taking on fetal alcohol syndrome, and Zodwa Hilda Ndlovu, a grandma caring for AIDS orphans in South Africa.
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney just received the Supreme Companion of Oliver Reginald Tambo, South Africa’s highest award to a foreign national. Other recipients of the honour include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., former Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and former Cuban president Fidel Castro.