The United States has an obligation to help developing countries who will certainly fare much worse in the COVID-19 pandemic, says Nicole Hassoun, professor of philosophy at Binghamton University, State University of New York. 

“I believe we have a moral as well as legal obligation to help,” says Hassoun. “While death rates in developed countries in some previous epidemics - like the Spanish Flu - were worse than those we are experiencing today, history teaches us that the epidemic will be even more devastating in poor countries. In many developing countries, people are often crowded close together, and health and sanitation systems barely function in normal conditions. Although, like most people in New York, I was upset about the possibility of burying people in public parks, there are already countries in which people are dying on sidewalks and people are going door to door begging for food.”

Hassoun stressed that in our globalized world, our economic fates are closely tied to the economic fates of people in far-away countries. 

“This is not only true for those of us lucky enough to have international investments,” says Hassoun. “It is a fact of modern life that trade dependency (and prosperity) depends on people in other countries producing food and other goods upon which we rely.”

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