Morality and Law
Valdai Discussion Club to Discuss the Global Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
List of speakers

On July 28, at 16:00 Moscow time (GMT +3), the Valdai Discussion Club will hold an online discussion titled “Global Response to the Pandemic: the Strategy of the World Community and Social Challenges”.

The expert discussion is timed to coincide with the release of the Valdai Paper by Alan Freeman, Co-Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba (Canada), “How Many People Need Die? A Real Alternative to Herd Immunity."

The global chain reaction of lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic and the question of their effectiveness have sparked public debates around the world. There are only a few of those who did not take restrictive measures with Sweden as a textbook example.

The issue of human rights violations during quarantine has been widely discussed. During the epidemic, a number of models were developed, forecasting the dynamics of the pandemic. The concept of herd immunity has become the key; it’s thought that when it is achieved, the epidemic will stop. Accordingly, the question of herd immunity and of the feasibility of achieving it has become particularly acute. It is the possible alternatives to herd immunity that are the subject of the new Valdai Paper. Another aspect of the discussion is related to the overestimation of quantitative parameters in the mainstream model of herd immunity (60-70% of the population). However, there is an alternative approach associated with the difference in the predisposition to infection in different groups of the population, which means that the herd immunity threshold may be much lower than the usual figures (about 20% of the population).

How effective has the quarantine system been? What alternatives to lockdown are there? Why were they not in demand? What impact has the concept of herd immunity had on the system of introducing such measures? What ambiguities does it have? What measures need to be taken by the world community now that the first wave of the virus in many countries has begun to fade? The participants in the expert discussion will answer these and other questions.


  • Alan Freeman, Co-Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba (Canada) (author of the paper);
  • Radhika Desai, Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba (Canada);
  • Karl Friston, neuroscientist and expert on neural networks (UK);
  • Jordi Raich Curcó, Head of the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Mexico (also responsible for Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador).


Working languages: Russian, English.

For accreditation, you need to fill out the accreditation form on our website, indicate your personal mobile number, and have the WhatsApp application installed.

You can ask the speakers a question by sending it prior to the broadcast or live to [email protected] or via WhatsApp to the number: +79269307763. Be sure to include your name and position, as well as the name of the speaker to whom the question is addressed. Questions will be asked during the Q&A session.

A link to the live broadcast of the meeting will be posted on all online platforms used by the Valdai Club, including our websiteTelegramFacebookVkontakteTwitter, and Instagram.