The United States, under President Joe Biden, intends to join the COVAX vaccine facility, which is designed to deliver vaccines to poor countries, his chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci told the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the announcement on the WHO Executive Board, saying, “This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health.”
Speaking via videoconference from Washington the day after Biden’s inauguration, Fauci said: “President Biden will today issue a policy that includes the United States’ intention to join COVAX and support the ACT accelerator to support the multilateral effort for COVID. 19 Vaccine, Therapeutic and Diagnostic Distribution, Equitable Access, and Research and Development. “
The first batches of coronavirus vaccines are expected to go to poorer countries in February as part of the WHO’s COVAX program and the GAVI vaccine alliance, WHO officials said this week, despite expressing concerns that richer countries still hold the lion’s share of which take available shots.
The United States will remain a member of WHO and “meet its financial commitments,” said Fauci, adding that it would also work with the other 193 member states on reforming the UN agency.
Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump stopped funding WHO, where the United States is the largest donor, and announced a withdrawal from the agency in July 2021 in what was seen as part of a wider US withdrawal from multilateral organizations.
“WHO is a family of nations and we are all glad that the US is staying in the family,” said Tedros.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)