Global Leaders Pledge €7.4B At E.U.-Led COVID-19 Summit; U.S. Abstains From Meeting, Donating; U.N. SG Says 5x More Funding Likely Needed

ABC News: U.S. absent from global conference to raise money for coronavirus vaccine
“The European Union raised over $8 billion for the development and ‘universal deployment’ of a COVID-19 vaccine and other medical treatments during a virtual global summit Monday that the U.S. did not participate in, prompting doubt about the Trump administration’s support for those efforts. Senior administration officials said that the U.S. is supportive of the summit and that the administration has already provided $2.4 billion in total for the coronavirus response, including economic assistance, global health funding, and humanitarian aid. But even under repeated questioning, the two officials who briefed reporters would not say why the U.S. skipped the summit entirely…” (Finnegan, 5/4).

The Hill: Global leaders fall short of funding goal for COVID-19 response; U.S. donations absent
“…Noticeably absent from the worldwide pledging fund were the U.S. and Russia, while representatives from China; European leaders; heads of state from Japan, Canada, South Africa, Turkey, Israel, and Australia; Jordan’s King Abdullah II; and Saudi Arabia’s health minister provided video messages announcing their donations…” (Kelly, 5/4).

New York Times: World Leaders Join to Pledge $8 Billion for Vaccine as U.S. Goes It Alone
“…While the European Union may have led this global fund-raising effort, the bloc has struggled to get its own 27 members on the same page with health, travel, and financial measures to respond to the coronavirus crisis. And the details of how the money raised on Monday will be distributed still remain to be sorted out. The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union that spearheaded the initiative, said the money would be spent over the next two years to support promising initiatives around the globe. The ultimate goal is to deliver universal and affordable access to medication to fight Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus…” (Stevis-Gridneff et al., 5/4).

U.N. News: None of us is safe until we all are, says U.N. chief at E.U. push to end COVID-19 pandemic
“The ‘most massive public health effort in history’ is needed to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. chief said on Monday, addressing a European Union pledging conference in Brussels. In a strongly-worded personal message, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed donor countries’ contributions to a more than $8 billion fund, to speed up the production of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines to end the new coronavirus threat. But he said that five times that amount will likely be needed to put us all on ‘a path’ to a world free of the disease…” (5/4).

Washington Post: The world came together for a virtual vaccine summit. The U.S. was conspicuously absent
“…A senior Trump administration official said Monday the United States ‘welcomes’ the efforts of the conference participants. He did not explain why the United States did not join them. ‘Many of the organizations and programs this pledging conference seeks to support already receive very significant funding and support from the U.S. government and private sector,’ said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under White House rules for briefing reporters. … The U.S. government has provided … emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development aid for governments, international organizations, and charities fighting the pandemic…” (Booth et al., 5/4).

Additional coverage of the pledging summit is available from Devex, Forbes, The Hill, PBS NewsHour, POLITICO, Reuters (2), Roll Call, U.N. News, and Wall Street Journal.

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