Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Biden urges world to fight new Crown virus as United States nears 1 million deaths

US President Joe Biden has called on world leaders to adhere to international efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, as he has reached the “tragic milestone of 1 million US deaths from the virus”.

“This epidemic is not over,” Biden said at his second global pandemic summit on Tuesday. “Today, we are celebrating the tragic milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19 in the United States – 1 million empty chairs around the family table.”

Since its inception in late 2019, the coronavirus has killed more than 999,000 people in the United States and at least 6.2 million worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Biden issued a statement on Thursday urging half-staff to fly the US flag before sunset on Monday for those who lost their lives to the virus.

The summit, co-hosted by the United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal, actually took place on Thursday as countries discussed efforts to end the epidemic and prepare for future health threats.

Its goal is to create commitments made at the first Global Summit in September, including vaccinating more people, testing and treating vulnerable groups, expanding protections for health care workers, and funding for pandemic preparedness.

With the decline in global infections and deaths in many countries in recent months, the pace of COVID vaccines and treatments has slowed. But cases are rising again in some countries, including the United States, and billions of people worldwide are affected by the disease.

“There is no other issue more important than the well – being of the people,” said Ursula van der Leyen, president of the European Commission. “We cannot be satisfied. The epidemic is not over. “

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said it was not possible for every country to provide its population with the COVID vaccine, testing and treatment. “There should be no monopoly in the supply chain of the health industry.”

The World Health Organization said Thursday that more than 2 million people have died from COVID-19 in WHO countries in the European region.

About 65% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but less than 16% have been vaccinated in poorer countries. Countries are unlikely to reach the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 70 people by June.

With more than a billion doses of vaccines being distributed to developing countries, the problem is not now a shortage of vaccines, but a lack of logical support to turn them into weapons. According to government data, more than 680 million donated doses of vaccines are not being used in developing countries because they are out of date and cannot be administered quickly. As of March, 32 poor countries had used less than half of their COVID-19 vaccines.

At the beginning of the Virtual Summit, Biden made a pre-recorded speech addressing COVID-19 that “should be an international priority.”

“This summit is an opportunity to revive our efforts to contain this epidemic and prevent future health crises,” Biden said.

Leaders have announced nearly $ 3 billion in new commitments to fight the virus, as well as a number of new programs aimed at promoting worldwide access to vaccines and treatments. However this is much more modest than the results of last year’s meetings.

Justin Trudeau of Canada pledged $ 732 million in new funding to ACT Accelerator, a global health fund launched in early April 2020, while South Korea pledged $ 300 million.

In a White House fact sheet, the United States announced that it would provide an additional $ 200 million to the World Bank’s future pandemic readiness fund, bringing its total contribution to $ 450 million.

“We offer US government-owned health technology, including the stable spike protein used in many COVID-19 vaccines,” Biden said in a statement.

Despite Biden’s call on Congress to provide more funding for tests, vaccines and treatments, lawmakers have so far been reluctant to provide them.

China’s Shanghai is re-enforcing COVID-19 restrictions amid a new outbreak [Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]

The shortage of U.S. funds – Biden applied for another $ 22.5 billion in what he called the most needed funds but did not receive – reflects the volatile U.S. intention to jeopardize the global response to the epidemic.

According to the White House fact sheet, the United States shipped more than 535 million doses of the vaccine worldwide and provided more than $ 19 billion in medical assistance to other donor countries.

Congress has been hesitant about the price tag of COVID-19 relief and has so far rejected the plan amid political opposition to the end of pandemic-era immigration restrictions on the US-Mexico border.

Even after a brief agreement on virus funding in March, lawmakers decided to end global aid funding and focus solely on supporting the supply of vaccine boosters and therapies in the United States.

U.S. lawmakers on Thursday decided to observe a moment of silence in honor of the 1 million Americans who lost their lives due to COVID-19.

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