Bolivia’s Arce: Rich Countries Hoard Vaccines & Turn them Into Commodities

Bolivian President Luis Arce affirms that the “savage capitalism” that rules in rich countries has turned COVID-19 vaccines into merchandise.

“The rich countries have hoarded vaccines, the vaccine has become a new commodity in the world because of savage capitalism,” the Bolivian head of state denounced on Saturday, through a message posted on Twitter .

Arce’s tweet included the statements he offered during an exclusive interview with various state media on the occasion of the first six months of his tenure. The president also expressed concern about the lack of a “structural” solution to the coronavirus pandemic at a global level.

Along these lines, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on March 23 that the gap in COVID-19 vaccination between rich and poor countries “is getting more grotesque every day.”

Pandemic response: progress of Arce’s government
In the interview, Arce highlighted the current management of the health crisis compared to that of his predecessor, the de facto president Jeanine Áñez. “Our strategy is very different from that of the coup government,” stressed Arce.

During Áñez’s mandate, there were no tests and in the case of doing a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, obtaining the result took two weeks, the Bolivian president noted. In addition, “no medication was given, people’s condition began to deteriorate, and they entered intensive care,” he added.

Now, Arce pointed out, his administration has accelerated vaccination. “The pilot test has been successful; in several places they are very well organized,” said the president, citing the reduction in the COVID-19 fatality rate and other encouraging results in the handling of the pandemic.

Since Arce took office in October 2020, he has taken several measures to combat the coronavirus. As of Sunday, Bolivia had registered 316,153 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13,182 deaths from the disease, most of them during the previous administration. Also, over 762,044 Bolivians have been vaccinated, as confirmed by the WHO.

Meanwhile, the Bolivian courts announced on April 23 the opening of legal proceedings against several former officials of the de facto government for the death of patients with COVID-19, due to the illegal purchase or acquisition of ineffective respirators as part of corruption schemes.

 

Featured image: Bolivian President Luis Arce participates in a ceremony at the Casa Grande del Pueblo palace in La Paz, capital of Bolivia, February 11, 2021. (Photo: Reuters).

(HispanTV) with Orinoco Tribune content.

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/JRE/SL

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