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24 Apr, 2020 20:14

Save world from Covid-19 or white male privilege? Oxford professor’s tough vaccine choice shows warped priorities of today’s SJWs

Save world from Covid-19 or white male privilege? Oxford professor’s tough vaccine choice shows warped priorities of today’s SJWs

An Oxford University women’s studies professor has lamented that if the college’s scientists produce a successful Covid-19 vaccine, the “white savior” narrative will be unstoppable. Saving lives is apparently a secondary concern.

Worried that Oxford is “leading the race to develop a vaccine against coronavirus,” Dr Emily Cousens shared her concerns that a shot developed at the university “will be used to fulfill its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence” in a HuffPost op-ed published on Thursday.

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Cousens, who specializes in researching “vulnerability and gender,” fears the UK – drunk on a long-awaited top-up of its ebbing cultural pride – will hoard the resulting vaccine, because “our finest brains” came up with it. “It will be Britons who are prioritized for protection,” she warns, preemptively scolding her government for wanting to save its citizens’ lives, before accusing PM Boris Johnson in the very next sentence of failing to prioritize British lives over “British institutions like individual liberty, and the pub.”

And if there isn’t a shortage? Even worse! “The UK will be the world’s savior” and forget the mistakes it made in the early weeks of combating the epidemic, to say nothing of “the lessons that the pandemic has taught us so far: that the UK and the US are, in fact, not exceptions on the global stage” and can learn from other countries about the virtues of female leadership.

Cousens fears that if the vaccine is developed by “white, male and Oxford-educated” scientists, her country’s stock will rise above female-led countries, such as Germany and New Zealand, whose epidemic responses have been, according to a Forbes op-ed, “most widely praised.” Oxford coming out with a successful jab ruins the narrative, therefore it must be discouraged – even though a glance at the research team’s demographic composition would almost certainly reveal a healthy proportion of female and non-white scientists working just as hard on its development.

While she admits that Oxford scientists have relied on international co-operation to progress as rapidly as they have toward a vaccine – quoting one Oxford fellow, Dr Claas Kirchhelle, who confirmed that “there has been a radical sharing of information” across national borders – Cousens is convinced all that cooperation will evaporate in a puff of smoke if Whitey is allowed to seize the brass ring of First Vaccine Success.

It may already be too late to save Britain from itself, however. “The UK is increasingly resorting to patriotism in response” to the coronavirus, Cousens laments.

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But there’s a silver lining for the professor and others like her, concerned that some white-coated, white-skinned superman might swoop in and save the day (and, you know, lives) with a miracle vaccine. While she seems to believe Oxford’s version will hit the market any day now, there are actually quite a few hurdles to any of the 80-plus candidates making it into widespread usage. Previous attempts to develop vaccines for SARS have gone horriblywrong, with inoculated lab animals developing a super-virulent version of the disease on being “challenged” with the virus. While vaccination cheerleaders gloss over this possibility, researchers familiar with the issue have urged caution even as drug developers skip animal trials and go straight to humans in their rush to bring a vaccine to market. The usual approval process, while it will no doubt be fast-tracked given the urgency of the pandemic, could take 18 months.

Meanwhile, even the most elite health experts are increasingly shifting their hopes toward maximizing testing, perhaps realizing that keeping most of the world’s population locked down for another year while a vaccine is developed is not going to work in countries where people are already growing restive after being shut up in their homes for a couple of months.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.