US should learn from Pakistan to defeat COVID-19, suggests top US economist

Lawrence H Summers, who was the senior US Treasury Department official throughout president Bill Clinton's tenure and director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama, has lauded Pakistan’s efforts against the novel coronavirus pandemic that challenged the world's major economies.

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A top US economist has lauded Pakistan’s efforts against the novel coronavirus pandemic that challenged the world’s major economies. Lawrence H Summers, who was the senior US Treasury Department official throughout president Bill Clinton’s tenure and director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama, also termed the United States’ failure on Covid-19 ‘unimaginable’ while speaking to Fareed Zakaria’s show on CNN.

Tweeting from his official handle, Summers – who is President Emeritus at Harvard – said: “America’s failure on Covid-19 is almost unimaginable. Heck, if the US had handled the pandemic as well as Pakistan, we would have saved in neighborhood of $10 trillion.”

He also wrote in another tweet that “we should be making investments in renewing infrastructure, supporting state & local govt and helping the unemployed and lower-income families. It cannot be that the highest priority in the US today is lending money to creditworthy corporations”.

In September, the World Health Organisation too appreciated Pakistan’s effort against the coronavirus.

WHO praises Pakistan’s effort against the coronavirus?

Pakistan’s successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic is getting international recognition and even the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom has praised the country saying it is among those that the world needs to learn from.

Adhanom in a statement at a media briefing endorsed the Pakistan government’s strategy against the virus and deploying of the infrastructure “built up over many years for polio to combat COVID-19.” He also said that Pakistan was among countries from whom the international community should learn how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Responding to Adhanom’s statement, then Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza termed it as a recognition of Pakistan’s efforts at the international level.

In a tweet, Dr. Mirza stated: “Pakistan included among seven countries by WHO Director-General- countries that the world can learn from about how to fight future pandemics. Great honor for the people of Pakistan. Alhamdulillah.”

Pakistan reported its first covid-19 case on February 26, a few weeks later in the month of March, the country decided to go for the countrywide lockdown

According to the official statistics, Pakistan has so far reported more than 323,000 coronavirus cases with nearly 6,700 deaths. Meanwhile, at least 307,200 patients have recovered from the virus.

Bill Gates lauds Pakistan’s efforts against Covid-19 outbreak

In early May, Bill Gates, American business magnate and philanthropist, lauded Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan. PM Imran shared how Pakistan is making all-out efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic with a robust and coordinated response.

Read More: China in praises for Pakistani doctor volunteering to fight Coronavirus

The pair also discussed the latest developments surrounding the country’s response to the pandemic. The prime minister emphasized that Pakistan is facing a dual challenge of overcoming the pandemic and saving people, particularly the most vulnerable segments of the society, from hunger due to the lockdown. He noted that his government had put together $8 billion package to support the affected people and businesses.


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