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Voices from the Movement: David Evangelista on What COVID-19 Teaches Us About the Need for Unity

David Evangelista, President and Managing Director, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
April 9, 2020

David Evangelista is the president and managing director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia, with extensive global experience in the areas of government relations, industry engagement, international development, and global partnership building in support of marginalized populations.

Special Olympics International (SOI) is one of SCSC’s core partners in research, programming and advocacy around disability rights. Over the years, we have collaborated to promote the inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID), foster stronger social support for the families and caregivers of those with ID, and protect the rights of refugees with disabilities.  

We are pleased to share David’s World Health Day 2020 op-ed for Euronews, where he makes the case that as a global community, we have an unprecedented opportunity to unite and unify as we confront the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

Could World Health Day 2020 mark a milestone in global health history? Perhaps, but not in the way that one might immediately imagine.

When the World Health Organisation chose to celebrate the vital role that nurses and midwives play in keeping the world healthy, it could never have imagined how chillingly accurate their decision would prove to be.

By all standards, this World Health Day celebration will now highlight the way in which COVID-19 has changed society’s understanding of itself. It exposes the fragility of established health systems and celebrates the strength and grit of medical and health care professionals across the world. In the face of such trepidation, fear and distance, World Health Day 2020 will be defined by contagion, triage, and saturation.

Beneath the headlines, advisories, and anxiety, there is a growing whisper across the global community that aims to somehow, someway demonstrate that such drastic and disruptive measures are not simply protecting the world from illness, but may also be providing the world with a cure. The world is in dire need of a vaccine to rid the globe of this horrific menace, but the world has already received its first healthy dose of medicine. Unlike any other virus or disease of this generation, COVID-19 does not adhere to national borders nor does it change its approach on economic grounds. Quite the contrary. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and it does not apologise.

Read more at Euronews.