Global Community Needs To Recognize S. Arabia’s ‘Viral Sovereignty Rights’ To MERS

Al Jazeera America: To prevent MERS pandemic, respect Saudi Arabia’s rights to the virus
Qanta Ahmed, associate professor of medicine at the State University of New York, honorary professor at Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Public Health, and a Ford Foundation public voices fellow

“…To be sure, where viral sovereignty is at issue, there will be hard cases. In countries lacking intellectual or capital resources and with underdeveloped public health infrastructure, colonial commercialism may to some extent prove unavoidable, as poor countries are forced to depend on the technology and experience of wealthier nations. That said, Saudi Arabia poses no such challenges … In an age when a pandemic is just a plane ride away, our only hope of thwarting MERS — and other deadly diseases to come — is through cultivating a global culture of trust and collaboration. A first step in this direction would be to recognize Saudi Arabia’s viral sovereignty rights with regard to MERS, a disease that Saudi Arabia, more than any other nation, stands prepared to take the lead in eradicating” (6/25).

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