Source: Al Jazeera
By Hamid Dabashi, who is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
Every day at 7pm in New York, we come out to our balconies or front doors to bang on pots and pans and express our gratitude to physicians, nurses, and other public health workers who are risking their lives to care for and cure those infected with the coronavirus.
We are grateful that they continue to do their job despite being forced to work severely understaffed and ill-equipped due to a military culture that spends billions of dollars on military hardware but has left healthcare in shambles.
We are also appreciative of the work thousands of scientists do around the world to help provide the needed knowledge and biomedical breakthroughs to combat the disease, while also advising governments on what policies to implement to contain it.
In the shadow of dysfunctional and failed states like the United States, Brazil, or India and their incompetent leaders – Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, and Narendra Modi – who care more about protecting the interests of the economic and ideological groups they serve than the health of their people, figures like World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom or National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci have emerged as admirable personifications of reason and sanity amid the chaos.
Indeed, medical staff and scientists have emerged as the reluctant heroes of this pandemic.