Something that everyone wants to know is the strategy of Donald Trump, in the ongoing race to create and deliver a COVID-19 vaccine. Amidst the ongoing Pandemic, what the world is looking for is a Coronavirus vaccine, since only a vaccine would do enough to tame the COVID-19 virus and prompt the human immune system to defeat it.
He is giving way to a divided world order between those who have a clear-cut China policy and those who are still clueless about how to tackle the irresponsible giant. Thus, while Trump announced that the USA is cooperating with India in vaccine development, he has royally snubbed the recent European Union (EU) Summit for raising funds to land a COVID-19 vaccine.
US President Donald Trump is done with the European Union, over how the intergovernmental organisation has repeatedly succumbed to Chinese influence. The EU is a divided lot with no certain China policy, and Hungary- a European Union Member-state has even announced that it will join hands with China in opposing Taiwan’s WHO membership bid. The European Union has no certain policy or coherent stand on how to deal with this issue as it is a deeply divided entity from within.
In fact, the European Union has become a mere liability- as a bloc of nations, it has failed to stand up for the interests of its own members like Italy which are enfeebled with the Coronavirus outbreak and when it came to hitting out at Beijing over its misinformation campaign, the EU chickened out, watering down the report criticising China at Beijing’s behest.
Later, the European Union published a “friendship letter”, and Chinese State media censored it to exclude the mention of Coronavirus Pandemic. But the EU didn’t protest even that, furthering the internal dissensions within the European Union.
The EU’s Foreign Policy chief has himself said, “Developing a joint EU approach to superpowers is never easy, as each member state has its own viewpoints and sensitivities…. and the China case is no exception. What’s more, China is not shy about sometimes playing on these differences.
Trump knows that the EU is a divided lot- one that doesn’t have the coherence or the commitment to get together and formulate a set policy even when the Pandemic has killed more than one lakh people within the European Continent itself, and Beijing is taking full advantage of such glaring gaps to influence the bloc. Clearly, ‘Divide and rule’ strategy has reaped benefits for China when it comes to dealing with the EU, but the EU remains divided.
Therefore, when the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held an online conference, through which the European Union raised over 8 billion US Dollars, US President Trump simply skipped the meeting, though the US administration did pledge 2.4 billion US Dollars for the summit.
Media reports were critical of Trump, and it was being fear-mongered that the United States is boycotting global cooperation efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, but Trump has a clear plan.
The US President is paving the way for close cooperation with India on the vaccine development front. He even tweeted, “I am proud to announce that the United States will donate ventilators to our friends in India. We stand with India and @narendramodi during this pandemic. We’re also cooperating on vaccine development. Together we will beat the invisible enemy!”
I am proud to announce that the United States will donate ventilators to our friends in India. We stand with India and @narendramodi during this pandemic. We’re also cooperating on vaccine development. Together we will beat the invisible enemy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2020
Trump wanted to emphasise this, so he retweeted it too. From this remark, we know that the United States is collaborating with India in the field of vaccine manufacturing because India excels at manufacturing vaccines and other pharma products.
India leads the world in production and exports of vaccines, therefore when a vaccine is found it is inevitable that India will be manufacturing vaccines for most nations across the world. It was believed that American Big Pharma would trump the vaccine market, however, Donald Trump tweeting and retweeting his tweet on vaccine cooperation, apart from making other hints during his press conferences, shows that the US may open up to affordable Indian-made vaccines. Trump may ensure it, as US elections are near and smooth delivery of cheap and effective vaccine shots could raise his chances of being re-elected.
China has become synonymous with defective products given the kind of defective testing kits and masks it recently exported to the entire world and thus India will occupy the spotlight as a mass manufacturer when a vaccine is found.
Trump is also cooperating with India because, among the 50 vaccines in the early stages of development, Oxford University’s “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19″ is leading the race. It was originally intended for another Coronavirus, which causes MERS, but suddenly the COVID-19 Pandemic has meant that the Oxford University scientists enjoy a huge advantage over other researchers.
This vaccine, which is currently undergoing human trials, has an India connection as Oxford University has chosen the world’s biggest vaccine-maker, the Serum Institute of India for mass-manufacturing this vaccine. This vaccine is a promising breakthrough, as it has already shown signs of success in the case of monkeys.
Oxford University says that the human trials will be completed by September, and we can expect that by June or July, we will know if it is working. The Pune-based Serum Institute of India has already started producing 4 crore units of the vaccine.
Under America’s Operation Warp-Speed, Trump may tap into the potential of this collaboration between the Serum Institute of India, the biggest manufacturer of vaccines and the Oxford University, the leading researcher towards a Coronavirus vaccine.
Now that Britain is also out of the European Union, Trump doesn’t really have to even negotiate with the divided bloc that is drowning in Chinese influence. He will interact directly with the United Kingdom, which being a non-European Union member has no option but to bolster its US ties. India fits in perfectly as the country which will produce millions of vaccines to pull the US out of its woes. This is why Trump is side-lining a seemingly pro-China European Union, and cooperating with the United Kingdom and India instead.