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Self-anointed celebrity Covid-19 saviours need to wake up and realise poorer countries need power, not pity

Chris Sweeney
Chris Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and the Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and the Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney

Self-anointed celebrity Covid-19 saviours need to wake up and realise poorer countries need power, not pity
VAX LIVE, yet another benefit concert where famous faces will act as if they are making the world a more equal place, takes place next month. Why do we have to keep enduring these tacky events when real change is what’s needed?

You could be forgiven for thinking you’ve entered a time warp and travelled back to 1985.

A bunch of singers, bands and celebrities congregating to raise money for those deemed less fortunate.

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That was the Bob Geldof-inspired Live Aid for starving people in Ethiopia.

Over the years, we’ve also had: Concert for Bangladesh (1971), Concerts for the People of Kampuchea (1979), Live 8 (2005) and Hope for Haiti Now (2010)

Now there’s the 2021 reboot, VAX LIVE, whose aims are to raise enough “dollars-for-doses” to vaccinate millions of health workers on the “global front lines” of the world’s poorest countries against Covid-19.

It’s thought $200 million was raised at Live Aid – this time they’re aiming for $22 BILLION.

Next month’s event is billed as ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World’, but that’s just utter rubbish. It was the same when Live 8 was branded ‘One Day, One Concert, One World’.

We have never been united, not in 1985, not last year, not ever, so there’s nothing to reunite.

The global elites and powerful leaders such as Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel have no desire to pursue that.

Their conduct over the past year has accurately been coined ‘vaccine apartheid’. The US, the UK and other wealthy nations are on track to soon vaccinate all adults who want it, while scores of the world’s poorest countries have not inoculated a single person.

It’s estimated that 10 countries have administered 75 percent of the total vaccines and 130 countries haven’t been given a single dose. Canada has bought 10 doses for every citizen, when only two are needed. Britain has access to 400 million doses despite having a population of 66 million. 

So Jennifer Lopez and the Foo Fighters performing in Hollywood is an inert activity, akin to trying to turn the lights on in a blackout.

One big thing the organisers, an outfit called Global Citizen, have pushed is that it will be freely available to watch on YouTube, but so many of the people it’s intended to help don’t have wi-fi connections or the ability to stream video. 

It’s yet another self-aggrandising circle of anointed saviours who don’t have a clue. Frankly, I would be concerned if governments listened to pop stars as they are not qualified to dispense advice on tackling a lethal, global pandemic.

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It is purely driven by the arrogant optics of the elite.

We have a gaggle of American celebrities who feel they need to stand up for poverty stricken, downtrodden nations in Africa and Asia primarily.

That is a mistake that they and their ilk keep on making.

The people they’re seeking to help are not stupid or requiring pity, they have distinct cultures and a way of life – they don’t need a multi-millionaire gyrating in SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to save them.

There are middle class families in these countries, plenty of them have university degrees and are more than capable of looking after themselves.

The issue is the rich elite in the more powerful nations rig the system and prevent development from happening.

If any of them really wanted to help out these poorer countries, then why don’t they force the world’s pharmaceutical companies to share the technical know-how about making the vaccines with these countries?

It wouldn’t be difficult to start producing it in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan and places of that ilk. After all, India is already one of the globe’s biggest manufacturers of the jabs.

What is so jarring about VAX LIVE is that it’s as if Covid-19 has exposed a new problem.

Did they think everything was going swimmingly in these places until the pandemic hit?

Maybe they did, and that’s their ignorance.

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We have to eradicate this mindset perpetrated by famous faces of far-flung lands being places to pity.

Because it’s our own elite who metaphorically put them in a vice and continue to squeeze.

The American military makes frequent incursions into places it’s not wanted or requested, but carries on regardless, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction.

Look at the disasters they have created in Iraq, in Libya, in Afghanistan, in Syria.

Or how about the blind eye the UK turns to the plight of the Palestinians, when it was the British that left them twisting in the wind by allowing Zionists to maul them from 1948 to this day?

These are just a few examples of the Western elites’ superiority complex.

For too long, they have assumed they know better and can talk down to nations that don’t have the same international standing.

And that’s what VAX LIVE is all about. Even if they do raise $22 billion and wire that over to these places.

What about when we strike the next iceberg?

Shall we all pretend that it is a surprise that we are playing with loaded dice, and organise another concert to heal the world?

I’ve got an idea: Let’s see some actual structural change.

Let’s rip down the barriers that stop their economies developing.

Disband these shady cabals like the G7 and scrap nauseous clubs like the IMF, where wealthy countries have far greater voting rights and control who is in charge.

It’s all about rich leaders plotting to keep everything inside their morally bankrupt, gold-leaf tent.

Stop supporting corrupt regimes like the Gulf monarchies.

Change the system so these populations get a level playing field as that’s all they need.

And for this vaccine issue, there’s a simple solution.

The US has ordered 1.2 billion doses for its population of 330mn, so along with the surpluses in the UK, Canada and Japan, that’s enough extra doses to approximately vaccinate everyone in Africa. 

Sell it to them at cost price and we can forget listening to Mother Theresa-impersonating pop stars pretending they are creating change.

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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.

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