On the same day that President Joe Biden marked 1 million American lives lost due to COVID-19, the US and other global leaders met for the second Global COVID-19 Summit. The goal of the summit, which was co-hosted by the US, Belize, Germany, Indonesia, and Senegal, is to strengthen and coordinate worldwide efforts and get financial commitments from world leaders and other various organizations to fight the pandemic.
In a White House statement released on May 12, the US urged other global leaders “to accelerate financial and policy commitments—country by country, community by community,” to:
- Continue to get as many people around the world vaccinated as possible
- Ensure as many people as possible have access to proper testing and treatment
- Protect those who are at highest risk of developing severe COVID-19
- Prevent future pandemics by ensuring adequate disease surveillance, health care staffing, medical countermeasures, and funding
In another May 12 announcement, the White House said the latest summit has achieved a total of $3.2 billion in new financial commitments from the countries and organizations involved, beyond pledges already made to date. That new funding includes:
- Almost $2.5 billion for COVID-19 and associated response efforts
- $712 million for a new pandemic preparedness and global health security fund at the World Bank, building on the $250 million already promised for the fund
More details on what specific entities, partners, and governments around the world have promised can be found on the White House website. While the commitments are promising, it remains to be seen how well groups around the world will follow through on them. And, while the White House praised US leadership in COVID-19 response as the world’s largest donor to such global response efforts, Congress remains unable to come to a decision on a COVID-19 response funding package for the US itself.