If COVID-19 spreads across Africa, it would not only be a human catastrophe for the continent, but one that threatens the Northern Hemisphere with future outbreaks and further human and economic losses. What is true in the United States, where people in poor and minority neighborhoods are dying in disproportionate numbers, is true for the world as a whole: No one will be safe so long as anyone is at risk.
If the United States, Europe, and others succeed in containing the virus in the coming months, there is no way contagion throughout Africa could be contained there. A second wave rising in Africa would almost surely crash on U.S. shores. In this way, the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the world’s interdependence; the future safety of every U.S. community therefore depends on the success of every community in Africa and elsewhere.
While giving priority to the fight here at home is essential, the time to help Africa fight the virus is now.
Click here to view the full article co-written by Witney Schneidman as it appeared in Foreign Policy (April 29, 2020).