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Calling Marshall

Scott Galloway@profgalloway

Published on May 21, 2021

Seventy-five years ago, the world was ravaged by the defining crisis of the 20th century. Tens of millions died, societies were shattered, and geopolitical power plates experienced tectonic shifts. Of the world’s great powers, only one emerged relatively unscarred, with its innovation, leadership, and manufacturing stronger: the United States. America seized the opportunity to extend a hand of unprecedented strength and generosity to its allies and former enemies. It poured aid into their economies, dispatched expertise, and invested in treaties and global organizations on a historic scale.

This was enlightened self-interest, and altruism … which are not mutually exclusive. Through these programs, the U.S. reconstructed the roads, factories, businesses, and even cultures of other nations in its own image. The U.S. shaped enduring alliances with the most innovative economies in Europe and Asia. The result has been nearly a century of prosperity and (relative) peace.

From Crisis to Opportunity

Today, we face a similar crisis, and a similar opportunity.

The crisis is clear. As Americans unmask and return to Disneyland, the pandemic is tightening its grip elsewhere. The University of Washington estimates that in India the true daily death toll is nearly 13,000. In Brazil, the pandemic has killed half a million and counting. In both countries, health-care workers have died by the thousands, and the social-support infrastructure is collapsing.

The opportunity is clear — for the United States to demonstrate the might of American capitalism and character. It’s time for a second Marshall Plan, a global investment in the fight against Covid-19 with the world’s premier health-care professionals and superior vaccines. Staunching the pandemic in India and Brazil could save millions of lives. Millions.

As in the recovery from World War II, this would reflect both altruism and enlightened self-interest. The longer the virus is allowed to reproduce, the more likely it becomes a permanent scourge. On the Prof G Pod this week, my guest was historian and author Niall Ferguson, who was emphatic about this: “The failure to have a coherent global strategy for vaccination is going to cost us all in the end.”

These investments could forestall a catastrophe and cement future prosperity. Both India and Brazil are among the top 10 economies, and the largest in their respective regions. India is the world’s fastest-growing major economy, a swing vote between the U.S. and China on economic and political issues, and a key part of the global tech stack. Boasting the second-highest number of enrolled STEM students in the U.S. (just after China), it’s an increasing source of senior leadership, including the CEOs of Google, IBM, and Microsoft. At NYU, where I teach, many of the brightest minds and best teachers are from one place: India.

Rising Tide

Coming to the aid of Brazil and India (and ultimately, of other countries in crisis) will define 21st century global leadership. This time, however, it’s not the United States answering the call, but China. China, not the U.S., is vaccinating the world. According to tracking done by science analytics company Airfinity, China has already exported 252 million vaccine doses pursuant to purchase agreements with 44 countries and donated another 17 million doses to 60 countries. And it has dispatched medical teams to 27 foreign countries to aid their response to Covid.

U.S. manufacturers, by contrast, have shipped a mere 3 million paid-for doses to Mexico and Canada. And while President Biden has promised to donate 80 million doses abroad, not one has shipped.

The Power Triangle

The vaccine gap reflects a larger trend: a slow ceding of leadership by the United States. Nations secure their place in the world order — and secure the world order itself — through a triangle of global power: violence, innovation, and investment.

“Violence” may trigger a gag reflex, but it’s hugely underrated. Our 800 overseas military bases and nine carrier strike groups ensure that U.S. companies can trust foreign regimes to honor their contracts, and protect our global financial and legal systems. But our lead is eroding — China has more ships and soldiers — especially on the cyber battlefields of the future, where we’re unlikely to ever enjoy the dominance we retain in the kinetic space.

Innovation in all fields drives domestic economic growth and draws capital and the brightest minds from abroad. We won the Cold War with movies and microchips, not tanks. Yet while Big Tech leaders mostly bear American brand names, they are global companies, dependent on foreign supply chains and immigrant talent, all the way up to the C-suite. And here too, China is on the rise, with R&D spending expected to eclipse ours in the near future.

In the 20th century, the U.S. led a revolution in great power strategy, investing billions across national and cultural borders, even rebuilding former foes. We continued that tradition through development aid, and by leading the fight against scourges like smallpox and AIDS. But in recent years our role has diminished: We give less in foreign aid than any other rich country, as a percentage of GDP. China, meanwhile, is projected to invest over $1.2 trillion in 60 countries by 2027 through its “Belt and Road” initiative.

Pandemic relief presents an opportunity to reestablish America’s historic role as the “leader of the free world.” Ceding leadership of the recovery to China is not in the United States’ national interest, nor is it in the interest of the world community. China’s surveillance state makes Zuck look amateurish, and it is ruthless in using that power at home and abroad. America hasn’t been devoid of sin in its 80 years as a great power, but our crimes have come in spite of our ideals, as failures to live up to America’s promise. For China, repressive authoritarianism is the promise.

Rising to the Occasion

The Biden Administration has announced plans to send 80 million doses of vaccines abroad, which is a good start, but just a start. The combined populations of India and Brazil alone total 1.5 billion. The administration has also committed $4 billion to Covax, the international vaccine initiative. If fully funded, Covax hopes to deliver 2 billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021, leaving billions of people unvaccinated; a petri dish for vaccine-resistant variants and a rolling humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions.

More is needed, and warranted. In 1944, we stormed the beaches of Normandy to save the world. In 2021, we need to storm the beaches of India and Brazil to further that same mission.

Patents are a linchpin. We should require patent holders to license their vaccines to all available manufacturers. Biden shouldn’t simply “support” the WTO’s waiver of patent protections on coronavirus vaccines, but instruct U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to hammer out the necessary terms. Pharmaceutical company resistance to this step is short-sighted — fair compensation for their formidable work is due, but the lawyers and accountants can work out the fees later. For now, the difficult and delicate work of manufacturing vaccines must take priority. Within three months of Pearl Harbor, all private automotive production had stopped in order to redirect attention toward the war effort. We didn’t waste time haggling over intellectual property and royalty payments.

Making a vaccine is not as simple as, in Dr. Fauci’s words, “making shoes” — it requires 200 separate components, many of which are manufactured separately around the world. But we don’t have time for excuses. Creative solutions are being deployed to streamline supply chains and share knowledge, and the U.S. should be driving that effort forward with funding, expertise, and facilitation.

Every facility worldwide with the capability to manufacture vaccine components should be drafted into service. Domestically, the president should use the threat of the Defense Production Act to “encourage” manufacturers to invest in production capability with the active support of pharmaceutical companies. Abroad, ambassadors should be asking a single question: “What do you need?” We should also rejoin hands with our allies, recognizing that greatness is in the agency of others, and ensure Covax extends beyond Covid.

Once we have the legal, material, and monetary green lights on production, the U.S. should tap into its human resources to expedite global vaccination. This means sending health-care and social workers, as well as other medical supplies and resources, to India, Brazil, and other nations to expedite the on-the-ground vaccination process. Additionally, the U.S. could empower the Peace Corps, Doctors Without Borders, and other nongovernmental organizations with strong global networks (e.g., Latter-day Saints missionaries, 30,000 of whom were recalled at the start of the pandemic) to distribute vaccine-adjacent aid widely, efficiently, and with trusted hands.

This action — deployment of force, innovation, and investment — could cement the United States’ position as a global superpower, one that is both strong and benevolent. Yes, it will be enormously expensive and divert domestic resources from a waning but still deadly pandemic at home. In sum, this effort will come at great cost to our nation, and American lives could be lost.

Why choose to do this? Because we can. Because we are the strongest, most generous people in history. Because it is our generation’s turn to sacrifice. Because we are Americans.

Life is so rich,

P.S. Professor Beckman, one of my rock star professors at Berkeley Haas, is now teaching a Section4 Sprint (short-form, intensive strategy courses). Her Innovation Strategy Sprint teaches you frameworks and strategies to systematically leverage innovation principles to create value, regardless of your area of expertise or the size of your firm — register here.



  1. SP says:

    I used to applaud your mix of compassion & clear-eyed, no-nonsense analyses of the state of the world, Scott. But this particular article seems to me to display too much of American exceptionalism & smacks of the type of nationalism that veers dangerously close to the sort that you yourself have urged against. Why is it a problem if China is helping other nations? Why does it have to be zero sum game between China & America? Would the world not benefit from one more nation contributing? Why does America have to be the only superpower? For all your compassion, have you not thought that China’s development has been good for the 1.4 billion people living there? Why is it that only disenfrenchised Americans deserve your compassion? & why does one have to be at the expense of the other? If your answer to all above is that China is Communist/evil/authoritarian etc, then I urge you to employ your clear-eyed analytical powers to better understand China, its civilisational transformations & how it has evolved as a state & what its people think.

  2. carlos montelongo says:

    I do try to learn something new every day…and, I do not look any longer to learn the horrible news of the world…instead, I do look forwards to read Mr. Scott Galloway comments, ideas, and opinions about issues in the US and around the world. Mr. Galloway’s views are refreshing and informative. Carlos

  3. Carlos A Mendez says:

    This may sound off but I don´t agree on having a Marshall plan helping third-party countries is a priority. Let´s solve some issues here first, like universal health, education, alleviate poverty, minimum wages, aging infrastructure, and even taxes and minimum wages. My point is, before looking outside the fence, let´s focus on solving our own issues first.

  4. Jose Ortiz says:

    Thank you Scott for your kind, philantropic and intelligent thoughts. A Marshall plan led by the US could immediately change the negative image that many populist politicians across the world impart to the US. From the “imperialist US” to the “empathic US”. The bottom line is tha many countries, including my Argentina, are in need of occidental world recognized vaccines as well as processes and protocols to vaccinate its population. It would also help supporting refinancing their international indebtedness as most of those nations have incurred significant deficits due to covid expenditures and Gdp implosion. Thank you for your thoughts. Jose M. Ortiz

  5. Dale Dewey says:

    This concept of a Marshall plan for a vaccine is exactly what I have been thinking for weeks. What better way to tell the world that the US has rediscovered its way than this? As you say, being self interested and altruistic are not mutually exclusive. The benefits to the world and to the US are extremely obvious and the cost compared to the trillions currently being spent are trivial. Why didn’t the Gates Foundation step up to the plate with $100 Billion and pay to have the world vaccinated? Hell, Gates, Buffet and Bezos could have just paid the $223 Billion market cap for Pfizer, then spun off the company and simply kept the vaccine. Doesn’t anyone out there have any big ideas besides Elon Musk and yes also Jeff Bezos? Thanks for putting for this idea out there.

  6. Ricardo Rosa says:

    Hey Scott, I love your work (I really do… it’s not just an excuse to disagree with you on this post ;-))!
    But reading this post I can’t help but feel that you are looking at this with a totally American lenses that is distorting facts.
    You shouldn’t present a chart like the one about vaccines for domestic consumption and exports and just include China and the US and then proceed to compare the two political systems…. There’s a third player there that appears on the R&D chart and that actually has a much better story to tell on vaccine exports (though badly communicated as usual).
    The EU is behind the US on vaccinations not because vaccines were invented in the US (BioNTech actually developed the technology and Pfizer scaled it) nor because of American industrial might, but because the EU has behaved like a free market player, exporting almost half of its production. The US was protectionist and exported none.
    The situation in the US is further along because it sacrificed it’s position in the world stage to be a change agent. It decided its population should come first and only then there would be time for the rest. That was not what the EU did…
    I’m not necessarily saying it was a bad choice. But it was a choice that the US should own as it progresses to the next phase! Not exactly a Marshall plan, in my view!

  7. John Ortbal says:

    Thank you Scott for making this point about what we could be doing. The COVID pandemic is the greatest humanitarian crisis of the boomer generation yet putting people over profits doesn’t even seem to be on the agenda. Why aren’t more of us talking about how we can make a meaningful difference on a scale that counts? You remind me of the Jeff Daniels character in the “Newsroom” series where he reminds the audience: “We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed.” Keep on informing us!

  8. Lisa-May Reynolds says:

    Agree completely but after the last four years and the resulting open emergence of the hateful citizens we have in our country I have a hard time seeing us taking the lead again. Long live democracy , though and may the sane prevail.

  9. Dell Loggs says:

    Well said Prof. It will take years to rebuild the damage of the last 4 years of the MAGA president.

  10. Dylan says:

    I appreciate this post, as it’s the first strategic and realistic piece on Covid I’ve read in No Mercy / No Malice’s weekly series (with everything non-Covid related being reasonable and thought-provoking). The ongoing comparison to lives lost vs. WW II in previous Covid posts was incongruous at best, given Covid (unlike say, the Spanish flu) does not kill children or healthy adults (as say, did the beaches of Normandy), and as such comparing total lives lost is not apples to apples, since the years lost by the loss of a baby’s life greatly exceeds that of an elderly person’s. Also, those posts generally did not account for population growth, which is the same thing as ignoring inflation when talking about the cost of a cheeseburger today vs the mid-20th century.

    However, in a macro sense, the pandemic is globally the most important event of my adult lifetime, despite not being of WW II proportions. Further, China is set to be a stronger adversary to the US than either the Third Reich or the USSR, and after seeing the utter failings of an isolationist policies the past four years (of which I admittedly was a fan of at the time), I agree wholeheartedly with the column’s position that we ought to pour our self serving government spending into worldwide vaccination as opposed to QE Infinity and something called an infrastructure bill which somehow has more earmarked for elderly care facilities than it does for roads and bridges.

    The greater competition game is afoot, and we would do ourselves a huge favor to win it in the early innings as opposed to letting China continue to consolidate growth and power through soft action before it one day decides hard action may be more fitting.

    Thanks Scott.

  11. Peggy says:

    So incredibly well said. Thank you! We all know too many Americans who do not favor (or understand) the absolute need to help the world. I will take your well expressed logic and spread it to the stubborn, small minded ‘friends’ who just don’t get it (yet)!

  12. christopher quirk says:

    Great stuff ads usual!
    However America’s international image has been forever tarnishd by the fact that nearly half the nation voted for a fool in 2016
    Is half the population retarded? Probably not but the tarnish endures

  13. Melinda says:

    Every vice-president needs a good cause to keep them busy. If Kamala Harris doesn’t care for the border crisis how about spearheading our response to this crisis? Bring some real horsepower and American know how to our response.

  14. Belasque says:

    Great and inspiring, as allways!

  15. Ty Goletz says:

    ‘ Sending health-care and social workers” to Brazil and India is one of your suggestions to help the global fight against this virus. Were you going to be participating with the health care workers in these places or are you just going to watch comfortably from afar while someone else storms the beaches?

  16. Dean Harris says:

    This is a great idea. What an exceptional way to re-establish American exceptionalism.

  17. Francis W. Short says:

    Negotiate prices after the deal is done. That works….never.

  18. bill josh says:

    Have a definition for ” kinetic space” ?

  19. Max H. says:

    “For China, repressive authoritarianism is the promise.”

    On this point You are dead wrong prof P

    As USA ex,Pat living in China, I feel more freedom than in the USSA. It’s become the police state we heard China was. I live without fear in China. I am safe here. Since 2001, I didn’t feel safe and secure living in the usa.

    20 years ago living in USA, I felt free to speak my opinions… No more. The Patriot Act ended all pretense of freedom in the USA.

    In China , everything I wish or write on paper comes true. My Chinese name is 声笔马良。

    As long as I don’t sling mud and slander at my fellow citizens, I am free to do as I wish.

    Try to be safe and considerate of others wherever you live. Best wishes.

    • Mark says:

      Agreed my friend. The US used to be a just democratic republic. Not anymore- changed @ post-2001- It’s not only unsafe IMO , but it became a militarized empire built on their own illusions of justice, truth, power, and love. Without any real leadership- Sociopaths like Trump are not leaders; they are demagogues, puppets of fascist policies it’s repressive and autocratic systems have permeated the culture where u have multicultural hate and envy that didn’t exist before- I live in Asia as well- in a developing country that is a more open society than where I was born n raised all my life. Perhaps its because this is a country of one race – I don’t know the answer yet but I would never raise my kids in the states- its a sad and feeling depressing and I pray it can return to the glory, power, and decency it once was. Read N. Fergurson’s books if you think I’m nuts. The envy of the world is not the US. No not now, and maybe never more. I loved living there once upon a time -Goddamn shame like my uncle would say. If a country has to instill its citizens with desperate hope for their survival, something went badly wrong. In this case, a lot went wrong. My prescription Sir? Forget India or Brazil- and China is a paper dragon. Heal thyself first.

    • Hugh jasol says:


  20. Maga says:

    “Because we are the strongest, most generous people in history. Because it is our generation’s turn to sacrifice. Because we are Americans.”
    Aaaand that’s what American exceptionalism looks like. What a ridiculous article by the professor. Oh, well. I’ll file this under “brain fart” and wait for the next one.

    “More is needed, and warranted. In 1944, we stormed the beaches of Normandy to save the world.”
    To this day, Americans think that they played the most crucial role in defeating Hitler…. smh

  21. Ali says:

    Total uninformative trash post. Please stick to berating the internet oligarchs and keep your ass out of geopolitics.

    “Our 800 overseas military bases and nine carrier strike groups ensure that U.S. companies can trust foreign regimes to honor their contracts.”

    One of the most sadistic paragraphs I’ve ever read.

    • Max H. says:


      American exceptionalism today… Join the army, visit new countries… Meet new people and kill them if they don’t bow down and serve the Empire. Sadistic is too kind a word to describe it. Even Satan will applaud the demise of the USSA Evil Empire. The extra S stands for sadistic

  22. John Azevedo says:

    Remember “guns or butter” from your economics class? Your consumption of John Wayne films has given you a romanticized idea of the US military to the point where you can’t recognize where the US puts its priorities. 60%+ of our discretionary tax dollar goes to the military. Just this week Americans gave untold millions of our tax dollars to Israel so that it could massacre and commit war crimes on innocent children in Gaza. Guess we love guns more than butter.

  23. Raj Nair says:

    Scott, you are spot on. Time has come for American diplomacy to beat the dangerous spread of China’s dangerous influence and virus. If the US, UK, Europe, Japan collaborate with countries like Brazil, India, etc. the free world can be saved. In fact, the evil Chinese system can be erased and replaced with what the world needs for peaceful development. This will help to reign in Russia too. It’s now or never.

  24. Bruce says:

    Spot on!

  25. Randy says:

    All good points. Missed is the MASSIVE level of corruption, especially in India. I was working on a project to create sensors for drug companies and NGO. These sensors would allow you to tell if a box had been opened and/or the contents had been disturbed. A huge market exists. One potential customer told of Indian Custom agents removing half of AIDS drug shipments during an ‘inspection’ and replacing bottles with fakes. The drug was sold for several times his/her annual salary. According to another company, this is a very common issue, dealing with corruption from the agent to the President. Everyone needs to be paid off to get needed drugs. I doubt starving Germans or Japanese had to worry too much about there own aid organization stealing food from the mouths of the children. This was ALWAYS a key reason why Africa and south Asia has fallen behind and why best and brightest from India leave. They have some morality.

  26. Ed Pye says:

    An entirely well-meant comment because I bet you’ll want to know: “staunch” is steadfast or firm, while “stanch” is to stop. So better to say “stanching the flow.” “Staunching the flow isn’t really a thing. Cheers.

  27. Keith Alaniz says:

    All excellent points, but the aid-industrial complex (K Street) has hijacked what used to be a powerful diplomatic and influence tool, foreign aid. We not only spend less than other rich nations but we do so much less effectively, with 80%+ of “aid” paying for overhead for a handful of huge NGO “non-profits” … I know this is a post specifically about vaccines, but vaccine distribution in the hands of the usual suspects will cost more than it should and be less effective. Better to use local aid organizations to distribute in the effected countries

  28. Cleta Brown says:

    This is a brilliant opening for serious and creative consideration by the US and all affluent Western nations. The pandemic is indeed an opportunity and possibly a last chance to “do good” for our benefit and for all peoples, not to mention our planet. Keep thinking beyond the box Professor G!

  29. Barry Ellison Breaux says:

    After professor Galloway has made millions on Wall Street (engaging in dubious financial transactions), he now espouses the “good citizen” philosophy and asks that people relinquish their patents, earned thru thousands of hard work, borrowed capital, and much risk. Oh how magnanimous
    of him !

    • Jason says:

      agreed. it’s beyond annoying. he is a self loathing, super far left “woke” person now. Kara Swisher has had a very negative impact on him. He used to have awesome witty analysis. Now it’s all super self loathing, self hating, woke and virtue signaling..and his critical skills and analysis have suffered IMMENSELY – very obvious to any long term regulars.

  30. linda says:

    Yes. And yes. Imagine – we humans use our intelligence and tech innovation faculties to improve quality of life everywhere, rather than a crazed system of conquest and spoils. How about hosting more experts on China, or more world history experts? And not all “China is our competition” stuff. Look at the long history. How about carving out a narrative of “cooperation”? What would that look like? Who is talking about the future that way? Was great to hear Ferguson doing some of that. But he’s not a specialist on China or Asia. Orville Schell, though he is old now. But he has students. And while you’re at it- historians/critical thinkers who are not men would be helpful. So many brilliant thinkers with searing insight for the long view are not men, but women. Mariana Mazzucato, Danielle Allen, Jill Lepore, Bettany Hughes… I want to know their thoughts on a 21st Century Marshall Plan.

  31. Joseph Reyes says:

    Internal ideologically-driven political infighting is why we’re so distracted that we’ve hardly noticed America’s decline in the general populous. We’d rather fight over pronouns than compete on the world stage where the meaningful, long-term value is found.

  32. Janet Silver says:

    US birthrate declining. China has millions more well-educated citizens. We can only compete if we improve our education and immigration systems. We need educated, motivated immigrants to compete with China.

    • Randy says:

      Current US leadership was funded by a group, the teachers unions, who are more interested in preventing incompetent teachers from being fired than improving our education. China handles incompetence a bit different than we do. We promote it.

  33. Roger Willis says:

    China is taking the lead on vaccines because they got us into this mess to begin with and should take the lead to get humanity out of it. For us to print more dollars at a time where our debt as a % of GDP is at historical highs is a dereliction of any leaders responsibility to its own citizens. China have at it……

  34. Peter says:

    It’s too late – if America could have led the world through the pandemic it would have.

  35. Mark Guttag says:

    I’m a patent attorney and I’m afraid that your post shows a woeful ignorance of the IP issues involved with with having Moderna’s and Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines manufactured by more worldwide manufacturers than they are currently.

    To begin with, the big problem with respect to more companies manufacturing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is not patent protection, but trade secret protection.

    As discussed by Kevin E. Noonan, a patent attorney in his article “If the Devil of the WTO IP Waiver Is in the Details, What Are the Details?” on his website Patent Docs:




    I would add to Kevin Noonan’s comments that another thing to keep in mind about Pfizer’s, BioNTech’s and Moderna’s trade secrets technology regarding their mRNA vaccines for Covid-19 is that most of these trade secrets will probably be valuable in these companies producing future vaccines for other viruses, such as influenza. In fact, these trade secrets may help these companies to dominate the vaccine market for decades to come. As Kevin Noonan says, “The administration’s public position raises the likelihood of an infringement on private property unprecedented in the U.S.”

    • dav says:

      Millions, maybe billions may die and you’re worried about property rights of Pharma. Disgusting.

      • Mark Guttag says:

        There is no evidence that the proposed IP waiver will have any effect on the outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic. See for, example, Kevin Noonan’s article:
        Population of Patents at Risk from Proposed WTO Patent Waiver

        “Most importantly, the cure is worse than the disease; as has been enunciated heretofore, the proposed IP waiver will do little if anything to solve the accessibility problem (see “Latest COVID Conundrum: Accessibility of Vaccines (When They Are Available)”) but will almost certainly damage the very innovation system whose existence permitted these vaccines and others now in development to be produced on an accelerated timescale (see “The Road to Hell Is Paved with What Everybody Knows”).”

        I am all in favor of donating vaccines and equipment to store and transport vaccines to other countries to help them control the pandemic. But what is being proposed by the Biden administration is not the answer to help controlling the Covid-19 pandemic.

  36. SRS says:

    This is well-intentioned, but …

    I) I don’t think India will accept aid of the kind you are suggesting. Starting as far back as the 2004 tsunami, Indian Govts of all stripes have been very prickly about accepting foreign aid. In this situation, they were caught unawares by the scale and intensity of the second wave of infections and needed urgently to bridge gaps while domestic supply catches up, esp of things like medical Oxygen.

    II) India can probably teach America more about vaccinations than vice versa. India administered 170M jabs in three months, starting Feb 1. The US is at about 270M, after starting 2 months earlier.

    India has a self-inflicted vaccine supplies problem and a vaccine hesitancy problem. PM Modi made a huge mistake by assuming India had the virus kicked by end 2020, and that Indians could take their own time to vaccinate, and didn’t bother placing bulk orders until Feb 2021, leading to a vaccine shortage just as the second wave hit with terrifying speed. The US could help bridge the gap with excess vaccine stocks, but again, Indian suppliers will have ramped up fully by August, now that PM Modi has seen the light and pre-funded the manufacture of large numbers of doses, and will start pounding the drums on why getting vaxxed is a patriotic thing to do once supplies start to roll off the factories in India.

    The only way to overcome vaccine hesitancy – get people to sign up and get jabbed – is either coercion or by scaring the crap out of them. The Marine Corps will be more effective than the Peace Corps in doing that. The state of Tamilnadu, home to many NYU Stern Profs (incl Damodaran and Sundararajan) has among the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy, with barely 35% of health care workers getting vaccinated in the first month they were eligible.

    Lastly, “estimates” of deaths from the likes of US-based epidemiologists should be taken with a huge pinch of salt. Almost no death in India is unrecorded. It is likely that you probably have twice the number of people dying than is attributed to Covid, but it is unlikely to be much higher. I base this on a crude sampling of obituary refs in papers and an extrapolation relative to “normal” times.

  37. Robert J Scanlon says:

    Great post! Great opportunity for the US to respond to a global crisis in a way that brings hope, unity, and promotes peace. Would be a great way to get us focused on something positive instead of the manufactured outrage and divisiveness that are tearing our country apart.

  38. Ana Carolina Padilha says:

    In age of darkness you are pure light professor. Thanks from Brazil.

  39. RL says:

    Another great post Scott, but before everyone gets carried away with having to compete against China, some caution is warranted. Zeihan sums up the counterargument nicely here:

  40. Pacioli says:

    The other commenters have already hit most of my points. While your writings are consistently thought-provoking (this one too), this one is laughably misguided.

    As just one example, let’s take the ‘Vaccines by Allocation’ chart. For one, China exported the virus. So they should be held responsible for exporting millions (billions?) more vaccines to the rest of the world as atonement. That’s just basic ethics. Secondly, they haven’t even produced nearly the amount of vaccines as their own domestic population. At least the US has produced roughly enough for domestic consumption.

    China’s disregard for human lives (whether domestic or foreign) speaks for itself.

    All that said, the premise on generosity and leadership is well taken. It is difficult to execute on that duty without enabling countries’ policies that willfully choose to repress their own citizens’ rights to freedom and decent infrastructure.

  41. Alistair Richardson says:

    I wouldn’t describe Ferguson as a historian. Right wing ideologue perhaps who blames the public sector for everything.

  42. Knowledge says:

    Scott is over-sexed and super self-confident, and now thinks he can change the world with his newsletter. Stick to marketing advice.

  43. Tom Sullivan says:

    One of your best pieces. Would only that we had the political leadership to listen to and act upon the message.

  44. larry callahan says:

    awesome and inspirational- love the illustration- after twenty years of hopelessness in Iraq and Afghanistan I cannot think of anything more cleansing of the American soul

  45. Nk says:

    I am writing this from India.
    Thanks for the article Professor.
    Our plight cannot be explained with mere words.
    Hope we get some help.
    Hope is all we have got now.

  46. Joe Dirnfeld says:

    Totally agree with your call to arms, that would be great leadership on the part of the USA.

  47. Loni Hull says:

    Covid-19 is all about the Great Reset. It is a manufactured emergency. Stop your nonsense.

  48. Michael says:

    Thank you for your work. As a follow up, where should America’s schools direct/change the curriculum to prepare students for 21st century challenges?

  49. Wimpy says:

    I’ll surely pay you tomorrow for all your IP today. Would Silicon Valley be so glib sharing their R&D? While this might be a way to storm the beaches internationally to fight the pandemic, it is surely a way to utterly destroy the nascent biotech industry. Why not have the UN fund a massive deployment of captialization in the proven winners, to get the logistical problems ironed out and ramp up production at or near where it is needed, while preserving the proprietary nature of their technology for a reasonable time. Apple’s Cook won’t open a phone to save a kidnapped baby, but Moderna is supposed to give away their secret sauce.

  50. Miles Thomas says:

    The Biden administration could invoke a “force multiplier” in the provision of vaccines.

    Remove patent protection on the vaccines and the equipment used to produce them.

    Enables the vaccines to be made anywhere..this is a problem of supply as well as funding.

    Give some compensation to the patent holders, for sure.

    Also..leave vaccine supply in the Indian subcontinent to the British and Commonwealth, as an atonement for past wrongs.

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