by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
In a resolution passed at the end of January, the Seattle City Council called for collaboration with Cuba against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Seattle City Council encourages local medical, health care, scientific, academic, and pharmaceutical institutions to actively explore collaboration with their Cuban counterparts in knowledge transfer and joint collaboration between Seattle-King County and Cuban institutions in prevention of public health, methods of prevention of infection of health workers, innovative treatments, and development of new treatments, vaccines and protocols," the City Council resolution says.
The document notes that Cuba has dealt effectively with the disease, based on a free healthcare system, "the unified government approach and the robust biopharmaceutical industry."
According to the resolution, 80% of COVID patients in Cuba recover, while throughout the world the same percentage of patients with complications die.
In contrast, the US now has the world's highest number of deaths and the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, with Black and Indigenous communities especially hard-hit.
The resolution maintains that Seattle and the entire United States and the world can benefit from collaboration between institutions and governments to fight the pandemic together.
The City Council resolution makes Seattle one of 15 US cities expressing the desire to collaborate with Cuba in combating COVID-19. The list also includes San Francisco, Richmond, and Berkeley, all in California.
In order to foster cooperation with Cuba, the City Council called on the Biden administration and the US Congress to remove Cuba from the list of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism and end the US economic blockade of Cuba.
The inclusion of Cuba on that list was a unilateral decision by the Trump administration and has been widely condemned by international organizations.
The resolution was signed by Seattle City Clerk Monica Martinez Simmons, who noted that Cuba has a tradition of sharing its knowledge with other nations, and citing as an example the work of numerous Cuban medical brigades in various parts of the world.