WHO, European Commission, Other Partners Launch €7.5B Accelerator For COVID-19 Health Tools; U.S., China Absent From Meeting

The Guardian: U.S. stays away as world leaders agree action on Covid-19 vaccine
“Global leaders have pledged to accelerate cooperation on a coronavirus vaccine and to share research, treatment and medicines across the globe. But the United States did not take part in the World Health Organization initiative, in a sign of Donald Trump’s increasing isolation on the global stage. … [A]n ad hoc grouping of 20 world leaders and global health figures were on the call, including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the American philanthropist Bill Gates. Britain will co-chair a joint coronavirus global response summit on 4 May aimed at raising funds for vaccine research, treatments, and tests. Macron told the meeting: ‘We will continue now to mobilize all G7 and G20 countries so they get behind this initiative. And I hope we will be able to reconcile around this joint initiative both China and the U.S., because this is about saying the fight against Covid-19 is a common human good and there should be no division in order to win this battle’…” (Wintour, 4/24).

Health Policy Watch: WHO & European Commission Announce Plan To Raise 7.5 Billion Euros To Ensure Equitable Access To COVID-19 Diagnostics, Drugs & Vaccines
“In the largest global collaboration to address the COVID-19 crisis so far, the World Health Organization, European Commission, and other partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), launched a new campaign to accelerate development of COVID-19 diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines — and just as critically ensure that they are affordable and accessible worldwide. The European Commission will be hosting a rolling pledging campaign, beginning 4 May, to raise the 7.5 billion Euros to bankroll the massive effort, said Ursula von der Leyen, E.C. President. In a striking display of multi-lateral unity, launch of the new ‘Access to COVID-19 Tools’ (ACT) Accelerator was made in a WHO public webcast … Strikingly absent were the United States and China, which have been locked in bitter dispute with each other over the management of the COVID-19 crisis…” (Ren, 4/24).

U.N. News: ‘Landmark collaboration’ to make COVID-19 testing and treatment available to all
“…Tedros described the ACT Accelerator as ‘a landmark collaboration’ as it brings together the combined power of several organizations. The global vaccine alliance, GAVI, is among key partners working to speed up development of COVID-19 tools. … The European Commission will on 4 May host a Global Pledging Effort and replenishing campaign to raise 7.5 billion Euros to support the ramping up of COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments. However, this is but the first step, as beating the virus will require sustained actions on many fronts, said Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission President…” (4/24).

Additional coverage of the ACT Accelerator announcement and research into novel coronavirus is available from Bloomberg, The Guardian, Reuters (2) (3), STAT, and The Telegraph.