A top official at the World Health Organization spoke to Oklahoma medical professionals on Tuesday amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Lawrence Gostin, who heads the WHO’s Center on Public Health, said he’s never faced a problem like COVID-19. During an event at OU Medicine, local health leaders asked him how to convince a skeptical public that the science of COVID-19 is not up for debate.
“If you were to ask me what was the single greatest risk factor for doing poorly on COVID-19 response, it would be the failure to embrace science,” Gostin said. “We literally have become selfish in many ways and that’s a very sad thing to see.”
Gostin also said a vaccine won’t be a ‘magic bullet’ and mentioned concern over inequality within immunization distribution.
“COVID-19 has really amplified injustice, and its amplified it in ways that have become very, very visible,” Gostin said.
Despite all these problems, Gostin said he believes the country has the potential to win the ongoing battle against his virus.
“The only way that we can get ourselves out and to make ourselves resilient and just going forward is to work together toward global health with justice,” Gostin said.