Sunday, 12 October 2014

Observer letter on Ebola outbreak

With the media already besotted by an event seven months away, it was good to see the Observer`s editorial concentrating on something more relevant to the world today.(The world must unite and act quickly on Ebola,05/10/14) With the possibility of "1.4m new cases" by the end of next January, the Ebola outbreak, as you rightly say, is "a matter of truly international concern".
   The truth is that the world`s commitment to the possibility of a global pandemic "spiralling out of control" has been practically non-existent, with even sums like the £125m given by the UK to Sierra Leone looking totally inadequate, when compared with money spent on air attacks in the Middle East, or given to enrich the wealthy, in the form of tax reductions. Isn`t it funny how money is often no problem for governments intent on winning elections or making war, but when health problems erupt in poorer parts of the globe, the national deficit suddenly appears too problematic to enable sufficient financial support to be sent? When vast sums are needed, for example to give the American economy a boost, or to re-stabilise British banks to the tune of £375bn, quantitative easing is seen as the solution, so why cannot the same method of money creation be employed to provide the WHO with all the required experts, medicine and equipment? The usual German objection to such measures, about fears of repeating 1923`s hyper-inflation, would have even less relevance than normal, and it would be an opportunity for politicians to prove that there is more to their world than hypocrisy and duplicity, bribing voters and election victories.

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