Top priority - GulfToday

Top priority


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One of President Biden’s top priorities should be to harness COVID-19. The disease has spread viciously in the US, causing immense grief in the homes of over 400,000 victims. President Biden should ensure masking, social distancing and vaccination of the citizens. The President’s team is planning to invoke the Defence Production Act, to ensure the adequate availability of vaccines, syringes, gloves, etc.

The production of vaccines should be boosted, so that low-incomed countries in Asia and Africa can also source them. The world will not be safe from COVID-19, if only the richer nations can access the vaccine. The infection will continue to travel and infect even the rich nations. So adequate and equitable availability of vaccines is absolutely necessary to harness the disease.

Many other issues await the new Biden Government. First, America is fractured today. The ultra-white segments and the Afro-Americans and Hispanics do not see eye to eye. Second, COVID-19 has augmented poverty levels. Unemployment is increasing. Three, there are trade wars with China. Four, relations have to be redefined with Russia and the European Union.

However, this slate of problems could wait. The key priority for the new President should be to control the runaway COVID-19 pandemic. Once the country stabilises on the health front, the economy will start delivering. Then, there will be time, to resolve political issues.

It was shocking to learn from media reports that the US does not have a clear vaccination plan. A country like America should have had vaccination plans centered on states, towns and even streets. A central Federal vaccination plan should be among the first priorities of the Biden medical team.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai, India

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