Fighting Over Limited Medical Supplies Is No Way to Respond to COVID-19

Fighting Over Limited Medical Supplies Is No Way to Respond to COVID-19
Stockpiles of medical supplies at the Javits Center in New York, March 24, 2020 (AP photo by John Minchillo).

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, countries should be using every available tool to expand production of critical medical supplies and cooperating to avoid complete chaos. But instead, they are increasingly fighting over pieces of a too-small pie and going it alone. With dire, heartbreaking shortages of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses and ventilators for the desperately ill, some governments have responded by restricting their exports. A few major grain exporters have begun restricting food exports. More inexplicably, some countries continue to collect duties on imports of essential medical supplies, though that is finally starting to change. […]

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