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Policy Briefs

Democracy, Global Health, and the Group of 7

Task Force: Global health

David Fidler


COVID-19 produced a health crisis and exacerbated a democracy crisis. Members of the Group of 7 and other democracies were unprepared for the pandemic, and many responded poorly to it. Nearly twenty years of G7 global health leadership did not prevent G7 members from contributing to multilateralism’s failure during COVID-19. The pandemic also made the global decline in democracy worse. COVID-19 has raised questions about the relationship between democracy and health with which the G7 has not grappled. The G7 must do so now because democracy’s credibility on global health is badly damaged. The way forward includes fulfilling existing COVID-19 commitments made by G7 members, critically evaluating the COVID-19 responses of G7 nations, creating G7 ministerial and engagement groups on democracy, and identifying how to use development assistance for health to defend and advance democracy.