Just as world leaders came together after the second world war at Bretton Woods, now we need to create a new framework for health security
The scale of the coronavirus crisis is hard to fully comprehend: globally, more than 30 million people have contracted the virus and nearly 1 million have died. The UN estimates that the pandemic will mean $8.5tn in lost output for the world this year and next. The wider social and economic costs – from poverty to mental illness to domestic violence – are almost impossible to quantify.
Yet the global scale of the disaster has not been met with a global response of the same magnitude. National governments have taken often drastic action to slow the spread of the disease. But while scientists working on diagnostics, therapies and vaccines cooperate across borders, the intergovernmental response has been marked by its absence. It also reflects the peculiarly inept and lamentable crop of global leaders from Washington to London, Moscow and Beijing.