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Editor’s Note: Roberto Rave is a political scientist with a specialization and postgraduate degree in international business and foreign trade from the Externado University of Colombia and the Columbia University of New York. With studies in Management from the IESE University of Spain and MBA candidate from the University of Miami. He is a columnist for the Colombian economic newspaper La República. He was chosen by the International Republican Institute as one of the 40 most influential young leaders on the continent. The opinions expressed in this comment belong exclusively to the author. See more opinion piece at CNNe.com/opinion.
(CNN Spanish) – Free competition has been the great incentive for the world to advance. It has also been the basis of the meritocracy that so much development has brought humanity. However, there are moments when history demands putting spontaneous solidarity before economic desire, unity over individuality, cooperation over confrontation, collaboration over leadership, free sympathy and solidarity over free competition.
“According to the WHO there are 120 groups in the world that are currently trying to develop a vaccine. Several would be developing studies in the preclinical phase and others in the clinical phase. ” In different cities of Colombia, the manufacture of mechanical respirators has been encouraged and the initiative has resulted in a competition between the municipalities for which will be the first to achieve the feat. It has been almost impossible to create a union to add advances and put forward a product that saves many citizens.
This is a reflection of what is happening in the world and is that, as I have mentioned in other articles, perhaps the most worrying pandemic is that of selfishness, that of protagonism, that of savage utilitarianism and the lack of sympathy and awareness collective. Why in Colombia do cities like Medellín and Bogotá not come together to add advances and develop a mechanical fan that saves thousands of Colombians? Why do the pharmaceutical companies not give up their financial desire and, this time, join together to speed up the vaccine? Why don’t world leaders coordinate a synchronized global opening together? It is a utopia, the reader will think, but we must not give up on transforming the world into something better. Utopias, as Eduardo Galeano said, are necessary for walking.
More than 7 decades ago, then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, concerned about the progress of a possible nuclear bomb created by Hitler, brought together great scientists from around the world in a secret plan called the “Manhattan Project.” The center of this great meeting between countries was the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. Its result marked a milestone not only for the production of the nuclear bomb, but also for the speed with which this scientific advance was achieved. This story has no qualification or desire, beyond showing the importance of the union to generate immediate results that help save lives.
The world requires a Manhattan project, not to create nuclear bombs, but to generate a vaccine that protects us all from indifference, selfishness and this pandemic that already takes many lives and generates economic destruction that will increase poverty and chaos in the world population.
It is true that free competition is an honorable and necessary motivation to carry out projects, reduce poverty and build wealth. However, the situation that overwhelms us requires a momentary change that avoids more misery. Perhaps if we add advancements and talents in all parts of the world, we can accelerate the solution to the coronavirus.