The reality that China and Russia together have distributed almost a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines lingered over Friday’s virtual G7 summit. While attendees expressed concern about the unfair distribution of vaccines, ironically brought on by hoarding in their countries, the leaders from the world’s wealthiest countries did little more than make vague promises to provide additional funding to initiatives like the global Covax alliance that distributes vaccines to the poor countries.
But French President Emmanuel Macron gave voice to what may be an even more pressing concern for the other six members of this elite club when he told the Financial Times that China and Russia are leveraging the current vaccine crisis to their geopolitical advantage. “It’s an unprecedented acceleration of global inequality and it’s politically unsustainable too because it’s paving the way for a war of influence over vaccines,” Macron said. “You can see the Chinese strategy and the Russian strategy too.”
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