A female professor who “teaches on the women’s studies masters course at University of Oxford,” according to Huffington Post,” published an opinion piece in HuffPo over the weekend in which she asserted a litany of reasons that she did not want the Oxford scientists to be successful in creating a coronavirus vaccine, among them a renewed feeling of British patriotism and her fear that “being white, male and Oxford-educated may not be the only criteria for effective leadership.”
Dr. Emily Cousens began her polemic by noting that despite the fact that her 72-year-old father is worried he won’t be able to resume a normal life until there is a vaccine, she worries that if Oxford is successful, “The vaccine, developed by our finest brains, is ours. And it will be Britons who are prioritised for protection. If there is enough vaccine to go round, the UK will be the world’s saviour.”
She continues by pontificating, “We’ll forget the lessons that the pandemic has taught us so far: that the UK and the US are in fact not exceptions at the global stage. That we are not only vulnerable but can also afford to learn lessons from countries, regardless of whether we have a special relationship with them – such as South Korea. That being white, male and Oxford-educated may not be the only criteria for effective leadership (the countries whose responses have been most widely praised, Germany and New Zealand among others, are all led by women).”
Cousens posits that the Chinese Communist government has been a vital part of developing a vaccine, adding, “It is clear, then, that international co-operation saves lives.”
Then she moans, “But do our Oxford-educated leaders think like this? Coronavirus is a global epidemic. Yet, rather than motivating the UK to take a proud role at the global stage, as leaders like Macron have urged, the UK is increasingly resorting to patriotism in response.”
This war-time rhetoric is useful in instilling a sense that this is a moment when individuals need to make sacrifices and put the country first. But this time, the enemy is not a nation. It is a microbe. So why do our collective solidarities end at the border? The race is on and researchers at Oxford are doing vital, life-saving work. But races have winners and losers. If my university is the first to develop the vaccine, I’m worried that it will be used as it has been in the past, to fulfil its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence.
Her conclusion? “The story will be clear: China, once again, has unleashed a threat to civilisation. But the best brains of the UK have saved the world.”
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a subscriber.