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Biden urges the world to renew the COVID battle as the United States approaches one million deaths – Daily Local

Sieg Miller and Maria Chen

Washington (AP) — President Joe Biden appealed to world leaders on Thursday for a new international commitment to attack COVID-19. He ordered the flag to be half-masted and warned “compatibility” around the world.

“This pandemic isn’t over,” Biden told the Second Global Pandemic Summit. “Today we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States. One million COVIDs have died and there are one million empty chairs around the family dinner table.”

Coronavirus has killed more than 999,000 people in the United States and at least 6.2 million people worldwide since its emergence in late 2019, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Biden issued a proclamation on Thursday instructing the half-mast to fly the US flag until sunset on Monday to honor those who died from the virus.

The president called on Congress to provide more funding for testing, vaccines, and treatments that lawmakers did not previously want to provide.

The lack of funding — Biden demanded an additional $ 22.5 billion, what he calls highly needed money — is a reflection of a slowdown in household determination that jeopardizes the global response to the pandemic.

Eight months after he announced his ambitious pledge to donate 1.2 billion vaccines to the world using the first such summit, the urgency of the United States and other countries’ response diminished. I did.

Vaccination and treatment are waning as more infectious variants increase and billions of people around the world remain unprotected.

Biden addressed the opening ceremony of the Virtual Summit on Thursday morning in a pre-recorded remark, arguing that the commitment to COVID-19 “must remain an international priority.” The United States is co-sponsoring the summit with Germany, Indonesia, Senegal and Belize.

“This summit is an opportunity to renew our efforts to step into gas in curbing this pandemic and preventing future health crises,” Biden said.

According to the State Department, the United States ships about 540 million doses of vaccine to more than 110 countries and territories, far more than any other donor country.

After more than a billion vaccines have been delivered to developing countries, the problem is not that there are no longer enough injections, but the lack of logistical support to arm the dose. According to government data, more than 680 million vaccinations in developing countries soon expired and could not be given fast enough, leaving them unused. As of March, 32 poor countries were using less than half of the COVID-19 vaccine sent.

US support to promote and promote vaccination abroad was exhausted earlier this year, and Biden called for about $ 5 billion in efforts for the rest of the year.

“Countries lack the resources to build a cold chain, which is basically a freezing system, resulting in tens of millions of unclaimed doses. To combat disinformation. White House Press Secretary Official Jen Saki said this week, she added, “it will be an opportunity to raise the fact that the summit needs additional funding to remain part of this effort around the world.” rice field.

“We will continue to fight for more money here,” Pusaki said. “But we continue to encourage other countries to do more to help the world progress.”

Congress has rebelled against the COVID-19 bailout price tag and has so far refused to pick up the package due to political opposition to the imminent end of pandemic immigration restrictions on the U.S.-Mexico border. .. Even after a temporary virus funding consensus was revealed in March, lawmakers decided to remove global aid funding and focus on strengthening the US supply of vaccine booster shots and remedies.

Biden said the United States could lose access to next-generation vaccines and treatments if Congress did not take action, and the country would not be able to get a sufficient supply of booster doses or the antiviral drug Paxrovid later this year. I warned that it would be. He also warns that more variants will emerge if the United States and the world do nothing more to contain the virus globally.

“To beat the pandemic here, we have to beat everywhere,” Biden said at the first Global Summit last September.

Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has declined globally in recent months, especially in some countries, as Omicron variants have proven to be less severe than previous versions of the disease. It has decreased. According to Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO of the Vaccine Alliance, which leads COVAX, the COVAX initiative has, for the first time since its inception, achieved “a sufficient supply to enable countries to meet their national vaccination goals.”

Still, less than 16% of people in poor countries are immunized, even though more than 65% of the world’s population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. It is unlikely that countries will meet the World Health Organization’s goal of immunizing 70% of the population by June.

In countries such as Cameroon, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire, authorities have enough refrigerators to transport vaccines, send enough syringes for mass campaigns, and get enough health workers to inject shots. I’m having a hard time. Experts also point out that more than half of the healthcare workers needed to administer vaccines in poor countries are low-paying or not paid at all.

According to critics, donating more vaccines will completely miss the point.

“It’s like donating a lot of fire trucks to a country that is on fire, but there is no water,” said Charity CARE, which has helped immunize people in more than 30 countries, including India and the South. Vice President Ritu Sharma said. Sudan and Bangladesh.

“We can’t provide all these vaccines to the country, but there’s no way to use them,” she said, saying that the same infrastructure that was injected in the United States is needed elsewhere. I added. “In the United States, we had to tackle this problem, but why not use that knowledge now to vaccinate those who need it most?”

Sharma said more investment is needed to combat vaccine hesitation in developing countries, where there is a firm belief in the potential dangers of Western-made medicines.

“Leaders must agree to pursue a coherent strategy to end the pandemic, rather than a fragmentary approach to extending the life of this crisis,” said Gale Smith, CEO of the ONE campaign. I am saying.

GAVI’s Berkeley also said more and more countries are looking for more expensive messenger RNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna. These are not as easily available as the AstraZeneca vaccine, which accounted for the majority of COVAX supplies last year.

With the advent of mutants such as Delta and Omicron, many countries have switched to mRNA vaccines. It has more protection than vaccines manufactured in AstraZeneca, Novabacs, or China or Russia, and is in high global demand.

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Chen reported from London. Contributed by AP writer Chris Megarian.

Biden urges the world to renew the COVID battle as the United States approaches one million deaths – Daily Local

Source link Biden urges the world to renew the COVID battle as the United States approaches one million deaths – Daily Local

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