World leaders launch WHO plan to curb COVID-19, US not involved
World leaders pledged yesterday to accelerate work on tests, drugs and vaccines against COVID-19 and to share them around the globe, but the United States did not take part in the launch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa were among those who joined a video conference to launch what the WHO had billed as a “landmark collaboration” to fight the pandemic.
The aim is to speed development of safe and effective drugs, tests and vaccines to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19, the lung disease caused be the novel coronavirus - and ensure equal access to treatments for rich and poor.
“We are facing a common threat which we can only defeat with a common approach,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said as the virtual meeting got under way. “Experience has told us that even when tools are available they have not been equally available to all. We cannot allow that to happen.” Leaders from Asia, the Middle East and the Americas also joined the videoconference.