Never before has the rallying cry, “Healthcare Not Warfare,” been more critical than today. That’s why UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is pleading for a global ceasefire. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” Guterres said. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” Add your name in support of this monumental statement now!
Since our beginnings almost 20 years ago, we have been using the slogan “Healthcare Not Warfare.” Never before has that rallying cry been more critical than today, as the world faces a crisis of epic proportions.
Facing this terrifying pandemic, we see the hollowness of our national defense preparedness. The U.S. superpower with the largest military the world has ever seen is not capable of furnishing its people with enough protective masks, much less ventilators and hospital beds, and Trump has said it would be a tremendous success if “only” 100,000 Americans die from COVID-19.
In confronting COVID-19, we are inspired by the recent plea from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” Guterres said. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.”
Add your name in support of this monumental statement. The Pope has echoed this call and by March 31, 53 nations had signed on — calling on warring parties to pull back from hostilities, silence their guns, stop the artillery and end the airstrikes. No time is riper than the current one to end wars and focus all our resources on global health.
No wonder we’ve come to this tragedy so utterly unprepared. We lavish $740 billion on the Pentagon but leave crumbs, $11 billion, for the Center for Disease Control. We have 1.3 million active-duty troops, with another 865,000 in reserve, but not enough doctors and nurses. Imagine if instead we had a cadre of medical professionals, ready to descend on New York, New Orleans and the dozens of other cities and towns overwhelmed with the virus to do home visits for those who might be sick.
Along with the call from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the UN has also called for an end to economic sanctions that are making this virus even more deadly. Ending armed conflict and suspending sanctions will allow humanitarian aid to reach vulnerable populations.
As we sit quarantined in our homes (if we are lucky enough to have one), this should be a time for deep reflection. Look at the people on the frontlines today who we must thank for their service. They are not armed soldiers. They are healers and caregivers. They are also farmers, clerks, pharmacists, cleaning staff, garbage collectors, USPS and UPS employees, and so many more.
Support the heroes on the frontlines and those most vulnerable in this crisis — the Yemeni people, Palestinians in Gaza, refugees from Syrian, homeless people in America and migrants on our borders by adding your name to the call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to end war so we can collectively focus on the global COVID-19 pandemic.
What if, instead of making bombs and nuclear weapons, our country concentrated on making coronavirus testing kits and treatments, and invested in non-profit vaccine development. Instead of selling the bombs that kill Yemenis, sentencing Iranians to death through sanctions, occupying Iraq, and supporting the siege of Gaza, what if our government — emulating the tiny island of Cuba — sent doctors and medical equipment to all who asked, even our supposed enemies. That would do more for national security than any act of war. Healthcare Not Warfare must move from slogan to reality.
Towards global health and well-being,
Medea, Jodie, Ariel, Ann, Asia, Carley, Caty, Cody, Emily, Jodie, Kelsey, Leonardo, Makena, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Paki, Teri, and Yousef
P.S. Don’t forget to check out CODEPINK’s COVID-19 mutual aid resource page to help practice social solidarity in the time of physical distancing
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