What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?
A new strain of Coronavirus, COVID 19, is spreading around the world, causing deaths and major disruption to the global economy.
Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
The Forum has created the COVID Action Platform, a global platform to convene the business community for collective action, protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity, and mobilize support for the COVID-19 response. The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.
As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.
He stressed that the world’s leaders should focus their efforts on the safety of their people. He noted that in the 1960s, despite the Cold War, the United States and the USSR joined together to help suppress small pox. Those efforts helped eradicate the disease in just ten years.
A similar approach will be essential today, said the Director General. “The United States and China should come together and fight this dangerous enemy,” said the Director General. “And the rest of the G-20 should come together to fight it. And the rest of the world should come together to fight it.”
“For God’s sake,” he said, noting the more than 80,000 deaths so far. “Even one person is precious.” He added, “if you don’t want more body bags, don’t politicize this,” he said.
“We shouldn’t waste time pointing fingers. We need time to unite.”