Decades hence, historians laboring to make sense of the Covid years will undoubtedly ask why it took 18 months to deploy our most powerful weapon against the virus -- the open celebrity letter. How many lives would have been saved if, in the early weeks of the pandemic, authorities had tapped the intellect of Anne Hathaway or the insights of Peter Dinklage?
Indeed. But better late than never. According to the New York Post, “Seventy entertainers signed an open letter to world leaders in a plea to help stymie the spread of the coronavirus.”
Published September 21, to coincide with the UN General Assembly, “The memo asks leaders to provide vaccines for 70% of the world’s population by 2022. It also requests resources for countries with lower capital, more support for health care workers as well as a vested interest in public education.”
Finally! Who but the likes of Eva Longoria could realize that “None of us are safe until all of us are safe” from a disease that is “now a man-made pandemic of apathy.” It takes stars like Julianna Margulies and Ciara to dream so big that they aim to “end COVID-19 everywhere.”
We’re sure that, outside of the Met Gala and the Emmys, and the odd dinner at The French Laundry, these celebrities are acting locally. And they are definitely thinking globally. They want “7 billion vaccine doses available before the end of 2021, and an additional 7 billion doses by mid-2022 to fully vaccinate 70% of the world by next summer.”
And they’ve thought this through:
To get this done, the world community must also invest in last-mile delivery systems, public education and frontline health care workers to get vaccines from tarmacs into arms. Millions of doses could go to waste because low-income countries don’t have the support they need to get vaccines to vulnerable people.
The upshot is that “We can save millions of lives — and trillions in further economic damage.”
World leaders have been put on notice. They can’t plead ignorance or indecision; celebrities have told them how to defeat Covid-19. And if they don’t act, celebrities know exactly how to punish them. That’s right, they’ll sing “Imagine.”