Without U.S., Funders Launch Effort To Find COVID-19 Treatments, Vaccines; Joe Biden Calls For ‘Apollo-Like Moonshot’ Effort To Find Vaccine; Group Of Scientists, Billionaires Push Manhattan Project For COVID-19

Devex: Funders commit to COVID-19 vaccine access but US opts out
“Twenty-five key players are pledging to make new vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 accessible around the world, following concerns that access for lower-income countries might not be prioritized. The COV-Access Agreement, launched virtually by the World Health Organization on Friday, commits countries to a cooperative international response to the pandemic and ‘equitable global access to innovative tools for COVID-19 for all.’ Leading funders including the U.K., France, Germany, the European Commission, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signed the pledge, alongside Gavi, the Global Fund, and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers. But the U.S. — the world’s biggest bilateral donor, which recently suspended funding to WHO — was conspicuously absent from the agreement, which health experts said was ‘concerning’…” (Worley/Igoe, 4/28).

Forbes: Biden Calls For ‘Apollo-Like Moonshot’ Push To Develop Covid Vaccine
“Joe Biden released a blueprint for his plan to reopen the country Monday in which he called on President Trump to drastically increase testing through a coordinated nationwide program and to launch an all-out effort to develop a vaccine as fast as possible…” (Brewster, 4/27).

Wall Street Journal: The Secret Group of Scientists and Billionaires Pushing a Manhattan Project for Covid-19
“A dozen of America’s top scientists and a collection of billionaires and industry titans say they have the answer to the coronavirus pandemic, and they found a backdoor to deliver their plan to the White House. … These scientists and their backers describe their work as a lockdown-era Manhattan Project, a nod to the World War II group of scientists who helped develop the atomic bomb. This time around, the scientists are marshaling brains and money to distill unorthodox ideas gleaned from around the globe…” (Copeland, 4/27).

Additional coverage of research into novel coronavirus vaccines and treatments is available from Bloomberg, Devex, The Hill, New York Times, STAT (2), Vox, and Wall Street Journal.

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