(CNSNews.com) – President Joe Biden said Tuesday that “bombs and bullets cannot defend against COVID-19 or its future variants.” Instead, he said, it will take “a collective act of science and political will.”
Speaking to the UN General Assembly, Biden said that the United States has invested $15 billion in the global response to COVID, having shipped more than 160 million doses of vaccines to 100 countries, and he plans to announce additional commitments on Wednesday at the virtual COVID-19 Summit.
Last week, the White House announced plans for a virtual COVID Summit on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
It’s intended to expand and enhance the United States’ “shared efforts to defeat COVID-19, building out from previous gatherings of world leaders and ministers in fora like the G7, G20, and Act Accelerator to rally civil society, NGOs, philanthropists, and industry along with world leaders and align on a common vision for defeating COVID-19 together.”
The president said that a new mechanism must be created to finance global health security and build on existing development assistance.
U.S. military power must be our tool of last resort, not our first and should not be used as an answer to every problem we see around the world. Indeed, today many of our greatest concerns cannot be solved or even addressed through the force of arms. Bombs and bullets cannot defend against COVID-19 or its future variants. To fight this pandemic, we need a collective act of science and political will.
We need to act now to get shots in arms as fast as possible and expand access to oxygen, tests, treatments, to save lives around the world. And for the future, we need to create a new mechanism to finance global health security, that builds on our existing development assistance and global health -- and a global health threat council that is armed with the tools we need to monitor and identify emerging pandemics so that we can take immediate action.
Already, the United States has put more than $15 billion toward global COVID response. We've shipped more than 160 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to other countries. This includes 130 million doses from our own supply and the first tranches of a half billion doses of Pfizer vaccine we purchased to donate through COVAX.
Planes carrying vaccines from the United States have already landed in 100 countries, bringing people all over the world a little dose of hope as one American nurse termed it to me, a dose of hope direct from the American people and importantly no strings attached, and tomorrow at the U.S. hosted Global 19 -- COVID-19 summit I will be announcing additional commitments as we seek to advance the fight against COVID-19 and hold ourselves accountable around specific targets on three key challenges, saving lives now, vaccinating the world, and building back better.