Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better

President Biden’s Global COVID-19 Summit

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On September 22, President Joe Biden called on global leaders to amp up the motivation to end the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming year and to better prepare for and prevent future pandemics. They decided on four common goals to aid in this ambitious fight. The White House’s official website stated that these goals included:

  • Vaccinate the World by enhancing equitable access to vaccines. Getting at least seventy percent of the population fully vaccinated with quality, safe and effective vaccines in every country and income category by the U.N. General Assembly in 2022.
  • Save Lives Now by solving the oxygen crisis and making tests, therapeutics and personal protective equipment (PPE) widely available, as well as improve the detection, monitoring and mitigation of new COVID-19 variants by enhancing genomic sequencing and data sharing efforts globally in 2021 and 2022.
  • Build Back Better by preparing in all countries, establishing a sustainable health security financing mechanism, and demonstrating political leadership for emerging threats to prepare for and prevent future pandemics.
  • Calling the World to Account by aligning around common global targets, tracking progress and supporting one another in fulfilling our commitments.

The United States also has set forth their own commitments towards ending the pandemic. President Biden has announced that the U.S. will be:

  • Vaccinating the World. The U.S. is donating an additional half a billion Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to low and lower-middle income countries around the globe, with shipments starting in January 2022.
  • Saving Lives Now. The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are providing nearly $1.4 billion to reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, mitigate transmission, and strengthen health systems, including to prevent, detect and respond to pandemic threats. USAID plans to provide $50 million to expand access to oxygen, with a focus on bulk liquid oxygen.
  • Building Back Better. The U.S. calls on countries to design and establish a Global Health Security Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF), as recommended by the G20 Presidency’s High Level Independent Panel and other international experts. Working with Congress, we will commit $250 million now in seed funding towards a FIF to combat this pandemic, which will also help prevent the next.

In the White House release, it was also stated that “The Secretary of State will convene foreign ministers at the end of the year to update on our collective progress and maintain global urgency to cross the finish line and end the pandemic in 2022.”