Coronavirus (1368) The Lancet editorial: COVID-19: learning as an interdependent world

24 September, 2021

Citation and extracts from the editorial in tomorrow's Lancet, and a comment from me below. Read online:


CITATION: Editorial volume 398, issue 10306, p1105, september 25, 2021

COVID-19: learning as an interdependent world

The Lancet

Published:September 25, 2021DOI:

Countries have had 18 months to understand which policies work, and to develop strategies accordingly. Yet the pandemic is at a dangerous and shifting stage. Almost 10 000 deaths are reported globally every day... Health workers are exhausted. The response to WHO's call for global solidarity to combat COVID-19 has been derisory. The pandemic remains a global emergency.

The handling of the pandemic is becoming increasingly politicised, with many public health decisions informed by partisan division instead of science. The conflation of the two is damaging public trust in both governments and scientists. For example, vaccine hesitancy has become a major issue in the USA due to the unprecedented political polarisation that has affected virtually all aspects of the US pandemic response...

Global solidarity to address the pandemic is further away today than ever. We are not learning as an interdependent world...


COMMENT (Neil): There is something deeply perverse about a global society that allows policymakers to spread wilful misinformation and to make decisions based on their interests rather than on the science. In the World Medical ssociation statement (originally drafted by HIFA and the British Medical Association) we call on governments to recognize their moral obligation to improve the availability and use of evidence-based healthcare information; and to provide political and financial support to accelerate progress towards universal access to reliable healthcare information.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,