Self-Interest and Generosity

I read two articles, each making a persuasive case that the U.S. should mount an effort to vaccinate everyone in the world. Apparently that could be accomplished with 50 billion dollars, diplomacy, determination, arm-twisting, and refusing to be deterred by whining and complaining on the order of “We have enough to do at home without trying to take care of hundreds of other countries” and “This is liberal extreme-left-wing socialism on steroids.” In this case, and in a lot of other cases, by the way, generosity is in our own self-interest. If we don’t come close to stamping out Covid-19 globally, outbreaks will continuously occur. The more cases that occur, the more variants will occur. The more variants that occur, the more likely it is that one or more will be especially lethal, or transmissible, or resistant to vaccines, or a combination thereof, and, given the volume and ubiquity of international air travel, a highly transmissible virus anywhere is a direct threat everywhere. Such an initiative would also help reestablish the U.S. as an enlightened and generous-spirited world leader, all but erasing the image of an incompetent, corrupt, buffoonish, pathetic, failing state mirroring the mental processes of our disgraced former president.