Leaders around the globe are tackling one of the most devastating disease of the last century. Their health professionals and scientists are overwhelmed with the tasks of saving lives. Some of which comes from an accurate account of the virus impact on populations. So, it is natural to ask the question of what happens when Nations fail to report complete COVID-19 data.
How does lack of information skew outcomes and delivers wrong counteractions? After all, any scientist would tell you, the results of any studies that help us to combat future diseases is based on the assumptions behind the analysis. But when the assumptions are wrong, so could the results of that analysis.
WORLD COMMUNITY SHOULD CALLY ON SYRIA, IRAQ, AND IRAN
Three countries in the Middle East have been skewing the data. The Assad regime is muzzling Syrian doctors, Iraq is under reporting, and Iran, while reporting some awful numbers, is digging mass graves for much larger numbers than communicated. The international community has a duty to insure that the virus data is as accurate in order to better predict future outcomes.
When Syria refuses to communicate the truth about its infections and deaths rate, it affects every country indirectly. Something that Assad may not yet recognize because he is too busy killing people. Authoritarian regimes live in a bubble. Self-preservation usually comes at a higher price to everyone else’s citizens as well. With regard to Syria, all one has to do is look at the refugee impact on neighboring countries to qualify this argument. The suffering is both high and insurmountable.
INTERNATIONAL VIRUS TREATY
After the effects of the coronavirus subside to the point when global leaders are able to look back at the data to plan better ahead, maybe the answer to what Syria and Iraq are doing is an international virus treaty; just like international non-proliferation treaties. One that would hold responsible any government that miscommunicates its data accurately should this tragedy happen again.
It may be symbolic as countries like Syria may refuse to sign it, but at least the initiative in and by itself may drive the urgent message it is trying to achieve.
We almost guarantee you that Assad is totally unaware of the damage he is causing. Maybe an international treaty might just be the tap on the head of Syria’s knucklehead dictator to kindle the urgency.
Either way, we think leaders of the G-7 countries should issue a joint statement calling on all countries to respect humanity by reporting accurately their COVID-19 cases of infections and deaths. Neither Assad of Syria, nor Abdul al-Mahdi of Iraq will grow a conscious overnight. But at least the international community would put them on notice.