Biden is likely to arrive at his own global Covid-19 summit empty-handed
Biden is likely to arrive at his own global Covid-19 summit empty-handed

Biden is likely to arrive at his own global Covid-19 summit empty-handed

The Biden administration asked Congress in March to approve $ 22.5 billion in additional Covid-19 assistance, including $ 5 billion for the global pandemic, but the package has been repeatedly postponed. That The Senate reached a bipartisan agreement in April to approve $ 10 billion in aid, but that removed global Covid-19 funding altogether.

It has put the president in an awkward position: he is likely to show up for his own summit empty-handed.

Biden acknowledged Monday that there was no “much-needed funding” for Covid-19 relief. In a statement issued by the White HouseThe president said congressional leaders had informed him that including the funding as part of a new aid package to Ukraine risked delaying the war effort, so he agreed to let them continue as separate bills.

“However, let me be clear: just as important as helping Ukraine fight Russian aggression, it is just as important to help Americans fight Covid. Without timely Covid funding, more Americans will die unnecessarily,” he wrote. added that the lack of approval funding also risked halting the global pandemic response.

As Biden prepares to turn to the world, cases are rising in the United States and the country’s death toll is approaching a dismal milestone: 1 million.

The summit, a virtual gathering hosted by Belize, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal, aims to revive vaccination efforts and end what the White House has called the “acute phase” of the pandemic. It comes at a critical time when vaccination efforts around the world are waning and testing and tracking of cases has fallen off a cliff.
A group of former heads of government is urging the United States to commit $ 5 billion to the global pandemic response and urges Biden to take on a more robust role at the summit. Experts have repeatedly warned that the whole world needs access to vaccines to curb the virus and stop more deadly strains from appearing. “I want the United States to acknowledge that the disease has not gone anywhere until it has spread everywhere,” the former British prime minister Gordon Brown told New York Times, who reported the story. “We must not go to sleep for the next variant.”
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that rising incidents in more than 50 countries highlighted the volatility of the pandemic, which is now being driven by sub-variants. Although high population immunity to vaccination and previous infection keeps hospitalization and deaths down, the same is not guaranteed for places where vaccine coverage is low. The worst-case scenario is that a variant evades current immunity, transmits more easily or causes greater mortality, Tedros said. IN South Africawhere cases are increasing due to the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, researchers have called for further vaccination to alleviate another wave.

The WHO has called on world leaders to commit to vaccinating 70% of the global population within a year – a goal that Biden reiterated at the first Covid-19 summit in September last year. “Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, some countries will not make it through mid-2022. But if we downgrade based on these factors, we will risk death waves that could knock out health systems and cause further setbacks on all other health problems. , “said Tedros.

At least 218 countries and territories has administered more than 11 billion doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since the first Covid case was reported in China in late 2019. Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said in February that the world was not reaching the 70% target.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.

Question: Why does the US need more Covid-19 funding?

ONE: The Biden administration has issued a new warning that the US could potentially see 100 million Covid-19 infections this fall and winter, which officials publicly stress the need for more funding from Congress to prepare the nation.

The projection – derived from a number of external models – is based on an underlying assumption that no additional resources or additional mitigation measures will be taken, including new Covid-19 funding from Congress, and no dramatic new variants will emerge, administration officials said. .

The Biden administration has been sounding the alarm for several weeks that further funding is needed to continue the federal Covid-19 response, although it seeks to return to “normal” with many pandemic-time restrictions lifted. The estimate of 100 million was first reported by Washington Post.

WEEKLY READINGS

Nearly 1 million Americans have been killed by Covid-19. These are some of the things they left behind

An engraved clip of money. A pulse oximeter. A child’s drawing.

These items are personal reminders of the terrible strain of the pandemic. Some bring comfort; others cause heartache.

As the United States approaches 1 million Covid-19 deaths, Christina Zdanowicz and Austin Steele asked CNN readers to remember their loved ones through the things they left behind. From 10-year-old Teresa Sperry’s doodles to math teacher John A. Richardson’s aftershave, these are some of the memories their loved ones hold on to – hard reminders of those they lost.

The WHO chief censored in China as zero-Covid policies intensify

Tedros was censored after questioning China’s zero-Covid policy during a media briefing on Tuesday. One day after the briefing, posts on the UN official press account on the Chinese social platform Weibo became invisible, and hashtags containing the WHO chief’s name were also censored, Nectar Gan and CNN’s Beijing Bureau report.
The operation came a week later China’s supreme leader, Xi Jinping, issued the strongest warning to date against questioning the country’s harsh policies – which have left millions trapped in their homes with no end in sight. At a meeting chaired by Xi, the ruling standing committee of the ruling Communist Party in the Politburo “unwaveringly adhered to the general policy of ‘dynamic zero-Covid’ and resolutely fought against all words and actions that distort, doubt or deny our country’s epidemic prevention. policies. “
The sharpest example of this is the country’s largest city, Shanghaiwhere officials have continued to intensify decommissioning measures despite declining cases.
Groups representing Western companies in China, Beijing urges to slacken its approach to Covid, saying harsh shutdowns hurt earnings and investment and force a growing number of companies to consider moving operations out of the world’s second-largest economy, writes Laura He.

The CDC is investigating Covid-19 eruptions aboard a Carnival cruise ship

That Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a recent Covid-19 eruption on a Carnival cruise ship docking in Seattle after a two-week voyage. Carnival Spirit left Miami on April 17 and arrived in Seattle on May 3, according to a statement from the cruise line, and has 2,124 guests and 930 crew members.

The CDC says it is not allowed to share the number of quarantined or infected passengers and crew, but the ship is marked as orange status, indicating that 0.3% or more have been tested positive according to the CDC guidelines.

When the pandemic started in the spring of 2020, cruise ships became epicenter of coronavirus and were turned away from ports as Covid cases boarded and escalated ashore.

“Our health and safety protocols exceed CDC guidelines and were closely followed, including vaccination requirements and testing of all guests prior to the cruise. Our crew is also vaccinated and wearing masks,” Carnival said in a statement to CNN.

TOP TIP

Be extra careful when traveling

As the summer holidays approach, more of us are looking to head out to exotic destinations. But before you book your flights, check how the infection rate is at your intended resort and how your own country is currently categorizing it.

On Monday, the CDC added the British Virgin Islands – a relaxed Caribbean playground – to its “high” category for Covid-19 risk.

Level 3 “high” risk category is now the top step in terms of risk level in the US. Level 2 is considered “moderate” risk and level 1 is “low” risk. Level 4, formerly the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as extremely high case numbers, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of healthcare infrastructure. Under the new system, no level 4 destinations have been located so far. read more here.


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