José Manuel Barroso, chair of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, is having a hard time these days convincing donors to cough up cash for 600 million vaccine doses to serve as a "buffer" for the next COVID wave.
But he's not surprised. Why? Because many people already think the pandemic is over. And for that, he credits Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has diverted global attention away from COVID with his invasion of Ukraine.
During a livestream discussion on equitable vaccine distribution hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Barroso proposed giving Putin this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine because apparently he's "made COVID disappear" in the media.
While wealthy nations with access to vaccines have already moved on, the former Portuguese PM warned that there's still a problem with getting jabs into people's arms in the rest of the world.
We need to finish the job, he said, hoping that donor fatigue "will not prevent us from doing what it should be done."