This article appears in the July 23, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Schiller Institute International Conference
June 26-27, 2021
For the Common Good of All People,
Not Rules Benefiting the Few!
We present below key excerpts from Panel 4, “The Coincidence of Opposites: The Only Truly Human Thought Process.”
Dr. Joycelyn Elders
We Need Health Care Systems, Not Sick Care Systems
Dr. Joycelyn Elders, M.D., served as the 15th U.S. Surgeon General. She is one of the co-founders of the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites. This is an edited transcript of her remarks to the fourth panel, “The Coincidence of Opposites: The Only Truly Human Thought Process,” of the Schiller Institute’s June 26-27 conference, “For the Common Good of All People, Not Rules Benefiting the Few.”
Good afternoon! I’m very happy to be able to be joined by Dr. David Satcher this afternoon for this very important Schiller conference. Greetings to all of you from all over world who are assembled today to forge a future for the common good of all people.
Over a year ago, I was called upon by Helga and others to help initiate the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, to address the pandemic and famine crisis that’s going on all over the world. I stated at that time that the biggest problem, in my view, is that we have a sick care system, not a health care system. A health care system involves the prevention of disease. It involves preventing, through public health measures, a disease from becoming an epidemic. It means preventing an epidemic from becoming a pandemic. It means guaranteeing that no human being, no matter how poor, no matter what country they live in, is left behind in the treatment and prevention of this virus.
Our progress has been substantial, with the rapid development and deployment of several vaccines in the United States and internationally. However, if we look around the world, the battle is not over. The virus is raging in Africa. And nobody knows exactly what the figures are because there’s no testing. In South Africa, a third wave of infection has begun. In the last two weeks, it has doubled, going from 3,700 daily infections to over 7,500 daily infections, and deaths have increased 48%. In Brazil, more than 500,000 people have died of COVID. There are reports that the new delta variant that is sweeping the country is more than 10-20 times more infectious than previous strains.
This all illustrates what we said last year: This pandemic will not be defeated until the whole world is cared for; not just providing vaccines, but with a full modern health system in every nation. This emphatically includes, as I’ve stressed in my past presentations with the Schiller Institute, that we must have water, food, and energy, as well as hospitals, skilled medical personnel, and community health care workers.
We must address the pandemic, but as the true mark of success, we must prevent future pandemics from occurring. To accomplish this, the whole world must come together now. We must engage young people in this mission. Let us all work together in the spirit of cooperation, not confrontation. There is still a lot of work to be done, and we must try and get it done.
This virus has opened our eyes: We now have 20/20 vision. So, as we visualize the problem, conceptualize issues, and actualize the needs, to be done, let’s get together and make it happen. Not watch it happen, or let it happen, but we must make it happen. We must get together: Let’s start now. We’ve got to be successful: We can’t afford to fail. Thank you.