The Administration of President Joe Biden strongly believes that it is critical for the world to unite and defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. But as new variants of the disease emerge and spread around the world, it has become clear that “we must cooperate if we’re going to defeat COVID-19 everywhere,” said President Biden:
“The United States is making a $2 billion pledge to COVAX, with the promise of an additional $2 billion to urge others to step up as well.”
The initial $2 billion will be provided in 2021, The second $2 billion tranche will become available over the following year. The funds will go to Gavi, the global alliance for vaccines and immunization, for administration of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative, or COVAX, which aims to get at least 1.3bn vaccine doses, or 20% of the world’s population, to vulnerable communities worldwide.
“Indeed,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in late February at the UN Security Council Briefing on COVID-19 and Vaccine Access, “The United States believes that multilateralism, the United Nations, the World Health Organization are essential – not just as an effective international COVID-19 health and humanitarian response, but also building stronger global health capacity and security for the future.”
“ We must defeat COVID-19 and prevent future pandemics. To that end, we’ll work with partners around the globe to strengthen and reform the WHO; to support the Global Health Security Agenda; to build sustainable preparedness for biological threats; to create a warning system that will allow us to respond more rapidly with testing, with tracing, with PPE needed to save lives.”
Yet “Even as we expand access to safe and effective vaccines, we know that COVID-19 outbreaks are likely to occur in the years to come,” said Secretary of State Blinken:
“Going forward, all countries should participate in a transparent and robust process for preventing and responding to health emergencies, so the world learns as much as possible as soon as possible. Transparency, information sharing, access for international experts – these must be the hallmarks of our common approach to what is truly a global challenge.”
“As President Biden has made clear, the United States will work as a partner to address global challenges,” said Secretary of State Blinken. “This pandemic is one of those challenges. And it gives us an opportunity, not only to get through the current crisis, but also to become more prepared and more resilient for the future.”