FILE PHOTO: General view during a press conference of the World Health Organization (WHO) organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS -/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The Trump administration announced the United States will not take part in the multinational coalition aimed at developing a vaccine for COVID-19, citing the involvement of the World Health Organization in these efforts among the administration’s chief concerns. There are around 170 countries considering joining the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, alternatively know as COVAX. The coalition is co-led by the WHO, vaccine alliance GAVI, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

COVAX is the world’s largest vaccine portfolio, which includes nine vaccine candidates and nine under evaluation. Richard Hatchett, the CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, stated, “In the scramble for a vaccine, countries can act alone, creating a few winners, and many losers, or they can come together to participate in COVAX, an initiative which is built on enlightened self-interest but also equity, leaving no country behind.” 

The Trump administration initiated Operation Warp Speed to enable collaboration between public and private entities in an effort to deliver 300 million doses of an approved, effective COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated Wednesday that “no nation will match” the U.S. commitment to delivering vaccines around the world, adding the process must be science-based and the WHO “isn’t that.” The WHO has promoted information regarding coronavirus that has later been proven false on several occasions, including claims that COVID-19 had no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission, the disease is rarely spread by aerosols, and the efficacy of masks. The agency has also been accused of receiving public health information from the Chinese Communist Party when it promoted misleading information about coronavirus.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

U.S. says it won’t join WHO-linked effort to develop, distribute coronavirus vaccine – Washington Post – 9/2/2020
“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” said Judd Deere, a spokesman for the White House.

US says it will not join global effort to find COVID-19 vaccine – Reuters – 9/2/2020
Some nations have worked directly to secure vaccine supplies, but others are pooling efforts to ensure success against a disease that has no geographical boundaries. More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX.

The CDC Will Take Years to Get Its Credibility Back – Esquire – 9/2/2020
The Covax decision, which has not been previously reported, is effectively a doubling down by the administration on its bet that the United States will win the vaccine race. It eliminates the chance to secure doses from a pool of promising vaccine candidates — a potentially risky approach. “America is taking a huge gamble by taking a go-it-alone strategy,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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