US will not join global Covid-19 vaccine initiative

The United States has indicated it will not be joining a WHO-backed global coalition to search for and distribute a vaccine to fight the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

The Trump administration claims it will not be participating as a result of World Health Organization (WHO) involvement. White House spokesman Judd Deere announced the US will “continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat the virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organisations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China”.

The news was broken by The Washington Post who reported the United States would not be joining the 172 countries participating in the initiative. The objective of the coalition is to “ensure equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved”.

Recent times have seen US President Donald Trump lash out against the WHO over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with recent accusations suggesting the organisation contained a Chinese bias within its response to the outbreak. Earlier this year, the president announced plans to cut funding for the WHO after he accused the organisation of failing to carry out its “basic duty” during the pandemic. This was then shortly followed by the complete withdrawal of the United States from the organisation, with President Trump claiming there had been a bias towards China. He said: “Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the [WHO] and pressured [the organization] to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities”.

However, the president has also been heavily criticised for his handling of the virus in his own country. Trump shocked the world earlier this year by suggesting injecting bleach could be a cure for the virus. This was quickly retracted before the president implored people not to do so. Currently, over 187,000 Americans have died with a further figure of over 6,000,000 confirmed cases in the US alone.  

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William Warnes

Global Editor - 2019/20

Co-Deputy Editor - 2020/21

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September 2021
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