The World Health Organization (WHO) had a strong message for the world on Monday.
“I want to be straight with you. There will be no returning to the old normal for the foreseeable future.” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed Monday. “I repeat – there will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future.”
As of Monday morning, the U.S. had seen over 3.3 million cases of the pandemic, nearly three times as many cases as any one country throughout the rest of the world, excluding South America. Nearly 13 million have now been infected during the pandemic.
“Also, believing magically we will get a perfect vaccine that everyone will have access too, is also not realistic.” WHO Executive Director Dr. Michael Ryan added. “The history of vaccines are that we can and will develop a vaccine. The question mark is, how effective will that vaccine be? More importantly and more worryingly, who will get that vaccine, and will that distribution be fair and equitable.”
The question from WHO leadership comes after the Trump Administration bought up virtually all stocks of the drug remdesivir, which is one of two drugs proven to help people recover faster from the disease. The U.S. purchased over half a million doses, which accounts for nearly all parent company Gilead’s capable production through September.
“We need clear and strong government leadership, and that doesn’t matter where you are,” Dr. Ryan said Monday.
It’s important to note, remdesivir is not a vaccine, but a recovery drug designed out of research into Ebola. U.S. citizens are still required to purchase the drug, which will cost around $3,200 per treatment, which is six doses. No other company in the world is allowed to produce remdesivir due to a patent Gilead holds on the drug.
The U.S. announced it would leave the WHO a month before the buy.
“There are no shortcuts out of this pandemic,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said Monday. “We all hope there will be an effective vaccine. But we need to focus on using the tools we have now to suppress transmission, and save lives.”