Democracy First Responders - Georgia - Dr. Akaki Zoidze
We’re looking at how COVID-19 is threatening global democracy, and meeting the people stepping up to protect their country’s democratic institutions. Georgia is a country that has weathered many challenges over the years, from the internal corruption that led to 2003’s Rose Revolution to the Russian invasion in 2008. In the past few months, Georgia has emerged as a success story in the global fight against COVID-19, showing a path for developing democracies to resist democratic backsliding and come through the crisis stronger than before. Today, you’ll hear a conversation between Dr. Akaki Zoidze and guest host Bakhtiyor Nishanov. Akaki has been a Deputy Prime Minister of Health and Chaired the Committee on Healthcare, Physician and Public Health Expert while serving in Georgia’s parliament. In other words, he has been smack dab at the intersection of government and public health issues for years. In this conversation, Akaki and Bakhtiyor talked about how the Georgian government identified coronavirus as a threat early on when so many others did not, why the country’s response has been so successful, and how to make the case that democracies, not autocrats, are best equipped to meet global public health challenges.