Gayle Smith will resume her role as leader of the ONE Campaign, an organization focused on eradicating extreme poverty and preventable disease, with a focus on Africa. Smith’s departure comes as the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads, sparking new fears about an increase in cases around the world.
“As Gayle returns to the ONE campaign, she leaves behind a phenomenal set of accomplishments, a strong team and network ready to move our important work forward, and a full set of next steps to build on our progress.” , said Blinken. in a report. “As Gayle has said on several occasions, our work to defeat this pandemic and prevent future health threats is not finished. “
Mary Beth Goodman, a senior member of the Department of State’s Pandemic Response Team who previously served as the Department’s Senior Director for Global Development and Humanitarian Response, will serve as the interim coordinator in the Smith’s absence, Blinken said.
Blinken boasted that the United States has donated more than 260 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since April. That figure falls far short of the Biden administration’s commitment of 1.2 billion doses, but still places the United States as the number one puncher for both the global COVAX effort and for individual countries.
“Together we have saved countless lives, and we will continue to do so thanks to Gayle’s enduring contributions,” said Blinken.
Smith will leave administration as the omicron variant emerges as the latest strain of COVID-19. Scientists said it would take a few weeks to learn more about the new variant, including how contagious it is and how effective vaccines are at preventing serious illness.