WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Joe Biden is reportedly planning to propose a global summit to discuss the pandemic response and international vaccination effort.
- The summit is planned to coincide with the U.N. general assembly meetings on the week of Sept. 20.
- Some countries have reportedly been notified regarding the summit proposal, but formal invitations are yet to be sent out.
President Joe Biden is planning to call for a global summit on the pandemic response and international vaccination effort, according to sources familiar with the issue.
The president will reportedly make the summit proposal during a speech on Thursday, where he will list new initiatives in the battle against the pandemic. Sources say that while most of Biden’s speech will focus on the country’s response, he will also point out the need for greater global cooperation, especially to help developing countries.
The planned schedule would coincide with the United Nations General Assembly meetings on the week of Sept. 20.
Discussions will focus on improving the global coordination for vaccine manufacturing and distribution, distributing supplies to countries in need, and furthering research and development related to COVID-19.
A source said that some countries have been notified regarding the summit proposal, but formal invitations are yet to be sent out. It is also still unclear whether the country would pledge to donate vaccine doses to other countries.
According to a senior administration official, the agenda at the U.N. meeting is still being finalized, but “it is safe to assume we are actively looking at Covid-19 and public-health centered options. I would anticipate there will be an opportunity for the president to engage with his counterparts on this issue.”
For months, the White House has proclaimed its commitment to the global pandemic response.
The administration has promised to make the country an “arsenal of vaccines” for the world. However, global health experts argued that the country could have been more aggressive in helping developing countries vaccinate their frontliners and vulnerable population.
The summit plans were first reported by the Washington Post.