Australian PM urges combined global efforts; takes indirect hit at Trump's secrecy

WION Web Team Sydney, Australia Sep 26, 2020, 07.58 AM(IST)

Australian PM Scott Morrison Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Morrison also went against Trump's accusations towards the World Health Organization (WHO) and applauded the organization for its efforts of containing the spread of the novel coronavirus

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged the world leaders to ensure that the information about the COVID-19 vccine is shared with all countries, or the history will tell the tale.

"When it comes to a vaccine, Australia's view is very clear — whoever finds the vaccine must share it," Morrison said in a pre-recorded message to the virtual UN General Assembly.

"This is a global responsibility and it's a moral responsibility for a vaccine to be shared far and wide," he said.

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"Some might see short-term advantage or even profit, but I assure you, to anyone who may think along those lines — humanity will have a very long memory and be a very, very severe judge."

It is believed that the appeal was made in reference to the US — an ally of Australia which has hinted towards a resistance towards global combined efforts towards developing a vaccine.

The US President Donald Trump had, few days ago, boasted about several American companies being in the race to develop the vaccine. So much so, the Trump administration has refused to promise to share the coronavirus-related research claiming it fears theft of research by China.

He has also advocated mandatory vaccinations once a vaccine is available.

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Morrison also went against Trump's accusations towards the World Health Organization (WHO) and applauded the organization for its efforts of containing the spread of the novel coronavirus. On the other hand, Trump has warned the United Nations (UN) that the US will pull out of the WHO if it keeps (allegedly) favouring and aiding China.

The PM has also promised support for Covax — a UN initiative that promises to have two billion doses of a vaccine ready by the second half of 2021. The initiative has been rubbished by the United States, China and Russia.

However, Morrison did not completely abandon its ally, and urged the UN to find the origin of the coronavirus — a topic that has strained China's relationship with Australia and the US.

Unlike Trump, Morrison did not blame China directly for the origin of the virus and said, "We must do all we can to understand what happened for no other purpose than to prevent it from happening again."

The Australian PM gained support from the developing countries for vaccine sharing. "I urge that COVID-19 vaccines and medicines be considered as global public goods that can be accessible to all," said Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez also advocated for global sharing and warned that "With the pandemic, as with poverty, nobody will be saved on their own."

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