US to ask the world for more global fight against Covid as its own cash is declining

Without additional funding, it will be difficult for US vaccine programs to continue overseas – some programs will be suspended in the coming months. Nevertheless, administration officials working on Global Covid’s efforts have stated that they are committed to ensuring that people in low-income countries have access to Covid-19 footage.

Concerns about the summit come after U.S. lawmakers failed to approve $ 5 billion in additional funding in response to the global pandemic. Democrats and Republicans are in talks to attach an additional request to the Ukraine bailout, but it is unclear whether Congress will reach an agreement before the summit.

“Because Congress has acted before, we can call others to action, and if Congress continues to act, we will continue to do good,” said another senior administration official.

A significant portion of the $ 5 billion would be transferred to the U.S. Agency for International Development to help low-income countries raise vaccination rates by 10 percent. There are 18 countries with low vaccination rates, including Niger, South Sudan and Yemen.

Some administration officials argue that the U.S. has done more than any other country to help global Covid-19 vaccinations and that the May 12 summit should lead to similar commitments from other countries. At the first vaccination summit in September, the White House announced additional $ 500 million in Pfizer doses to the world and hundreds of millions of dollars in risk insurance to send doses to Gavi, the vaccine alliance. The United States has so far shipped nearly 530 million doses of the vaccine, According to KFF Tracker.

“We must continue to do our part,” said one administration official, noting that the United States had an early commitment to donate more than a billion vaccines. “What the summit needs to reflect is that the United States is also engaging with others to play their part.”

It was unclear for weeks whether the administration would host the summit. The event was originally scheduled for this spring, but was postponed due to the war in Ukraine and because the administration needed more time to find out whether Democrats at the Capitol could fund international Covid.

After Congress failed to approve $ 5 billion last month, administration officials raised questions about whether it made sense to move forward, especially if the U.S. had no significant promises to make, according to one administration official and another. Case. Now the White House is in a hurry to complete the commitments of companies, countries and philanthropists at the summit, said one official.

Administration officials acknowledged that the lack of additional funds undermines the government’s ability to ask countries to do more to combat the pandemic. It is possible for the administration to facilitate earlier Provided funding and programmingFor example, to increase vaccine production through Development Finance Corp. The administration can also detect the US Investment plan For global health Financial Intermediary FundWorld Bank Fund to help with pandemic preparedness.

The summit is scheduled for President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. But two people familiar with the matter said it was possible Biden would not appear live, but through a recorded video.

Some senior administration officials have denied that Biden’s participation – be it video recordings or direct remarks – was important, saying the summit was scheduled for this spring to ensure the presence of Biden and Harris.

“We would not have held this summit without the commitment of the president and vice-president,” said one senior administration official. “They are both involved and we are still working modestly with ourselves and our four hosts from around the world.”

The exact number of foreign promises has not yet been completed and the administration has refused to provide details of what other countries and organizations have promised. – Whether it is related to policy changes or financial promises – the current list is only called “inspiring”. The U.S. has asked almost every country in the world to commit, said one senior administration official.

“Every speaker… speaks because they have made a commitment, right?” And there will be several speakers, “the official said.

There are many commitments for each topic of the summit, the official said. These topics are the same as last year’s summit – “Vaccination of the World”, “Save Lives Now” and “Build Better Health Security” – although the policy objectives of these topics have been updated to meet new needs.

However, the goals of the updated policy did not include switching to vaccination and empowering 90 per cent of the vulnerable population until we moved to the vaccination target of 70 per cent in all countries, for which a global health expert. They were arguing.

“We did not create a target separate from the 70 [percent]”One of the top officials in the administration said that early vaccination of high-risk groups is part of the US strategy.

According to the World Health Organization, globally, the number of infections and deaths is the lowest since March 2020, causing many people around the world to feel that the pandemic is over.

U.S. and global health officials warn that this is not the case, especially as the virus continues to evolve and new variants could still overtake hospitals and cause many more deaths. But as many governments have lowered pandemic-related restrictions, so has the human appetite for vaccination. Because of the abundance of vaccines, the biggest problem right now is helping governments around the world immunize people.

“The summit is a really important opportunity to meet our commitments,” Ted Chaiban, Covid-19 Vaccine Country Preparedness and Delivery Coordinator for the Covid-19 Vaccine Partnership, told reporters Thursday. These commitments could be financial or commitments to increase vaccination rates, Chaiban said.

“The summit itself is a way to maintain momentum,” he said.

US to ask the world for more global fight against Covid as its own cash is declining

Source link US to ask the world for more global fight against Covid as its own cash is declining

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