Twigg: Russia has placed experts in key positions, part of Russia’s strategy of building global health leadership, even pre-Trump

PONARS Eurasia
24 Nov 2020

(Moscow Times) In May, as Russia was tentatively emerging from a nationwide lockdown and clocking up near-record numbers of new infections, Russian officials began mounting an aggressive public campaign to present Moscow’s handling of the coronavirus as faultless. 

Central to that was boasting about the country’s low number of fatalities compared with Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere. 

“Mortality rates are 7.5 times lower in Russia than the world as a whole,” Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova told a state TV channel, basing her assessment on the daily tally of infections and fatalities published by the country’s new pandemic task force. [...]

In addition to the cash, “Russia has placed experts in key positions on tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases,” said Judy Twigg, a professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University and expert on Russia’s healthcare system.  

“These investments have been a key part of Russia’s strategy of building global health leadership, even pre-Trump,” she added. [...]

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