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A necessity for the greater good

Dear Editor,

With the spread of COVID-19, we have seen physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, health promoters, and health educators join forces nationally in aims of containing this virus.

While case numbers decreased over the summer, millions of citizens worldwide, especially those of marginalized groups, continue to face hardships endangered by the virus. Settings such as crowded households, homelessness, unsanitary water conditions, and barriers to health care such as racism impose marginalized groups globally to increased risk of contracting the virus. Further, secondary effects of the virus, such as global school closures, unemployment and marginalized groups falling to deeper poverty, immediate action has to be taken in order to prevent the irreversibility of such effects.

To protect and prioritize the health of low-income civilians everywhere, it is essential to initiate global cooperation from our health organizations. Therefore, we introduce the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a groundbreaking global collaboration which will enable an equitable access to tools to those who need them most.

The $35USD billion in funding required for global vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics will be returned with 36 hours of restoration of international trade and mobility. Further, Canada must expend one per cent of its COVID-19 response in new and additional aid towards an emergency global response to end the pandemic everywhere. A significant portion of this must go to global health agencies delivering on the ACT-Accelerator (ACT-A).

The world is at great risk. Canada can play a crucial role in restoring and even bettering pre-COVID-19 health and socioeconomic conditions.

-Danielle Ben-Shoshan