Testing COVID-19 samples in Nairobi, Kenya, April 2020
Brian Inganga / AP Photo

Shared transnational challenges are supposed to bring the world together. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has done the opposite, exposing the shortcomings of the structures that govern global health. At the start, countries scrambled in a free-for-all for medical supplies. They imposed travel bans and tightly guarded data about the novel disease. The World Health Organization (WHO), after struggling to secure Chinese cooperation, became a scapegoat for U.S. President Donald Trump, who announced that the United States would withdraw from the international health body.

U.S. President Joe Biden, promising to break with Trump’s retreat to vituperative nationalist politics,

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