President Biden’s remarks at the COVID-19 Global Summit
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everyone. Thank you for coming together for the second COVID-19 Global Summit. You know, and a special thank you to the leaders of Belize, Germany, Indonesia, Senegal for – for co-hosting this summit with the United States.
Today, we are once again uniting countries around the world with leaders from the private sector, civil society and the philanthropic community to continue the vital work of fighting COVID-19 everywhere – not just at home, everywhere.
You know, when we last met in September, we were focused on critical and urgent challenges. And I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the past few months and the commitments we’ve made to vaccinate the world.
You know, for our part, the United States has provided over $19 billion to help countries fight COVID-19 all over the world. We have provided life-saving medicines, oxygen, tests, equipment, supplies and we have partnered with countries to also improve their capacity to manufacture vaccines.
We have delivered over 500 million vaccines to 115 different countries. And we will continue to work with COVAX to deliver an additional 500 million doses – it’s all part of the commitment we’ve made to donate 1 billion doses of vaccine to the world’s most vulnerable.
You know, everything — you know, it’s all totally free. No – no conditions attached.
But, you know, there’s still so much to do. This pandemic is not over.
Today we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States: one million deaths from COVID, one million empty chairs around the family dinner table – each one irreplaceable. Irreplaceable losses, each leaving behind a family, a community forever changed by this pandemic.
My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling, asking, “How can I go on without him?” “How can I go on without her?” “What will we do without them?
It is a grief shared by people in all our nations.
Around the world, many more millions have died. Millions of children have become orphans. And with thousands still dying every day, now is the time for us to act – all of us – together.
We all need to do more. We must honor those we have lost by doing all we can to prevent as many deaths as possible.
Today, we are at a new stage in the fight against this pandemic, facing an ever-changing set of challenges. We need to redouble our efforts to achieve — getting shot in the arms of people, country by country, community by community; ensuring that we have reliable and predictable supplies of vaccines and boosters for everyone, everywhere; expand global access to testing and treatment; and we must prevent complacency.
This summit is an opportunity to renew our efforts, to keep our foot on the accelerator to control this pandemic and prevent future health crises.
Collectively, we are making important new commitments to help continue the fight against COVID-19 in 2022, protect the most vulnerable populations and prepare for the next health crisis, because there will be others.
You know, and the United States will continue to do its part.
Today, I am announcing that the United States will share critical COVID-19 technologies through the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool. We make available health technologies that belong to the United States government, including the stabilized spike protein that is used in many COVID-19 vaccines.
We are setting up a new pilot program, in collaboration with the Global Fund, to expand access to rapid tests and antiviral treatments for people in hard-to-reach areas.
And we are increasing our support for a new pandemic preparedness and global health security fund to be established at the World Bank this summer with seed funding of $450 million.
I would particularly like to congratulate Indonesia and Italy for their leading role in the realization of this fund. And I encourage other leaders to join me in strengthening their commitments.
You know, we are going to face global health crises together. It’s not the last we’ve had. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”.
We must therefore invest now. Now. We need to secure political commitments now. We need to start working to prevent the next variant and the next pandemic now. And that’s – and, you know, that’s going to require all of us – that we all do more.
I encourage every leader to ask themselves, “What more can I do? How can we work more closely together to help more people? How can we save more lives? »
That’s why I continue to call on Congress here at home to take urgent action to provide emergency COVID-19 funding that is vital to protecting Americans, to ensuring that we are — that we maintain our — our COVID-19 testing supplies, treatments and vaccines, including next-generation vaccines that are in development.
The request also includes $5 billion to maintain our global partnership in the fight against COVID-19 and support our efforts to always get the vaccine into the arms of people everywhere, expand access to treatment and save lives everywhere.
We can do it. We can control COVID-19. We can start building a better, healthier and safer future today if we all do our part and act together.
So thank you for responding to this fight. And especially, thank you to all the doctors, nurses and community health workers, scientists and aid workers, and all those on the front lines fighting this pandemic, saving lives every day. We owe you.
Thank you. And God bless you all.