US will not join WHO-led global coronavirus vaccine initiative

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The move, which comes at a critical time in the US response to the coronavirus, with cases exceeding 6 million, will keep the United States isolated from the 170 countries most involved in the COVAX initiative working to provide global access to an effective vaccine.

“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure that we defeat this virus, but we will not be coerced by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” the spokesperson said. from the White House Judd Deere in a statement.

“This president will spare no expense to ensure that any new vaccine meets our own FDA standard for safety and efficacy, is thoroughly tested and saves lives. ”

In addition to underscoring Trump’s long-standing distrust of global alliances and, in particular, his criticism of the WHO, the decision marks a notable bet on Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s effort to accelerate the development of drugs, vaccines and other measures to fight pandemic. Two Covid-19 vaccines are in phase 3 trials in the United States – those manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech – and two more are expected to begin phase 3 trials by mid-September.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, research, development and testing of vaccines and therapies has advanced at unprecedented speed to deliver groundbreaking and effective drugs, based on data and safety and not held back by bureaucracy government, ”Deere said.Trump, who has long shunned global alliances and institutions, has increasingly blamed others, including China and the WHO, amid scrutiny of his own administration’s response to the pandemic.

In July, the Trump administration notified Congress and the United Nations that the United States was formally withdrawing from the WHO, several officials told CNN.

The withdrawal, which will take effect next July, has drawn criticism from bipartisan lawmakers, medical associations, rights organizations and allies abroad. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had previously promised to overturn the decision “on (his) first day” if elected.

Critics have questioned whether the WHO is sufficiently independent, given China’s growing wealth and power. They point to the WHO’s effusive praise for China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Agency officials have defended their first actions in the fight against the coronavirus, noting that much was unknown about the virus in January.

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