Evo Morales is a man familiar with crises. Elected as the first indigenous president of Bolivia in the depths of a financial crisis, he brought together a fractured nation and stabilized his country financially while lifting large swaths of the population out of poverty in the process.
It is Morales’s criticism of global neoliberal capitalism that guided his policies, and it is this criticism that spurred him to speak up on Twitter this Tuesday, March 17.
Responding to news released by Spanish newspaper ABC that US President Donald Trump had attempted to buy a German company working on a COVID-19 cure, Morales spoke out on the global pandemic:
El coronavirus ha demostrado que mercantilizar la salud como propone el capitalismo, es inhumano e inmoral.
La salud no puede ser un negocio, sino debe ser un derecho humano. Es tiempo que los países del mundo retomemos el camino de la solidaridad. Protejamos primero la vida. pic.twitter.com/3vjtscxa3l
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) March 16, 2020
“The coronavirus has shown that commercializing health, as proposed by capitalism, is inhuman and immoral,” Morales tweeted.
“Health cannot be a business but must be a human right. It is time for the countries of the world to return to the path of solidarity. Let’s protect life first.”
Morales’s statement coincides with similar messaging coming from the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for worldwide solidarity on Monday, March 16, with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying, “We are all in this together.”
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 16, 2020
The statements from Morales and WHO highlighted a growing need for human solidarity in the face of the global COVID-19 epidemic. Where many governments have been reluctant to implement economically painful measures such as banning people from going to work, national leaders are hearing increased calls to put the economy second in order to prioritize the health of society’s most vulnerable.
As humanity is suddenly confronted with its own vulnerabilities, continued calls for collaboration can hopefully calm the global obsession with economic growth and stock prices and lead to a united fight against the virus that we can all be proud of.
Here is another beautiful way to share public health advice on #COVID19. Thank you my brothers and sisters from #SouthAfrica! Together, we can push #coronavirus back! Keep up the spirit of solidarity! pic.twitter.com/Ka4WLstSdj
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 15, 2020