Remarks by President Biden at the Global COVID-19 Summit
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining together for the second Global COVID-19 Summit. You know, and a special thank you to the leaders of Belize, Germany, Indonesia, Senegal for — for cohosting this summit with the United States.
Today, we’re again uniting countries around the world with leaders from the private sector, civil society, and the philanthropic community to carry forward the vital work on fighting COVID-19 everywhere — not just at home, everywhere.
You know, when we met last, in September, we were focused on critical and urgent challenges. And I’m incredibly proud of the work that have — that we’ve done together over the last several months and the commitments that we made — have made to — to vaccinate the world.
You know, for our part, the United States has provided more than $19 billion to help countries fight COVID-19 all around the world. We’ve provided lifesaving medicines, oxygen, tests, equipment, supplies, and partnered with countries to improve their capacity to manufacture vaccines as well.
We’ve delivered more than 500 million vaccines to 115 different countries. And we’re going to continue to work with COVAX to deliver another 500 million doses — all part of the pledge we made to donate 1 billion doses of vaccine to the most vulnerable in the world.
You know, all — you know, all this is completely free. No — no strings attached.
But, you know, there’s still so much left to do. This pandemic isn’t over.
Today, we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States: one million COVID deaths, one million empty chairs around the family dinner table — each irreplaceable. Irreplaceable losses, each leaving behind a family, a community forever changed because of this pandemic.
My heart goes out to all of those who are struggling, asking themselves, “How do I go on without him?” “How do I go on without her?” “What will we do without them?”
It’s grief shared by people across all of our nations.
Around the world, many more millions have died. Millions of children have been orphaned. And with thousands still dying every day, now is the time for us to act — all of us — together.
We all must do more. We must honor those we have lost by doing everything we can to prevent as many deaths as possible.
Today, we’re at a new stage in fighting this pandemic, facing an evolving set of challenges. We have to double down on our efforts to get to — get shots in people’s arms, country by country, community by community; ensure we have reliable and predictable supplies of vaccines and boosters for everyone, everywhere; expand access globally to tests and treatments; and we have to prevent complacency.
This summit is an opportunity to renew our efforts, to keep our foot on the gas when it comes to getting this pandemic under control and preventing future health crises.
Collectively, we are making significant new commitments to help keep up the fight against COVID-19 in 2022, protect the most vulnerable populations, and prepare for the next health crisis, because there will be others.
You know, and the United States is going to continue to do our part.
Today I’m announcing the United States will share critical COVID-19 technologies through the World Health Organization COVID-19 Technology Access Pool. We’re making available health technologies that are owned by the United States government, including stabilized spike protein that is used in many COVID-19 vaccines.
We’re standing up a new pilot program, working with the Global Fund, to expand access to rapid testing and antiviral treatments for people in harder-to-reach areas.
And we’re increasing our support for a new Pandemic Preparedness and Global Health Security fund that will be established at the World Bank this summer with $450 million in seed funding.
I particularly want to commend Indonesia and Italy for their leadership in helping make this fund a reality. And I’m encouraging other leaders to join me in — in upping their commitments.
You know, we’re going to face, together, global health crises. This is not the last one we’ve had. It’s not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when.”
So we have to invest now. Now. We have to secure political commitments now. We have to start working to prevent the next variant and the next pandemic now. And that’s — and, you know, that’s going to require all of us — all of us to do more.
I encourage every leader to ask yourself, “What more can I do? How can we work more closely together to help more people? How can we save more lives?”
That’s why I continue to call on Congress here at home to take the urgent action to provide emergency COVID-19 funding that is vital to protect Americans, to make sure we’re — that we maintain our — our supplies of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, including next-generation vaccines that are being developed.
The request also includes $5 billion to keep up our global partnership in the fight against COVID-19 and sustain our efforts to get ever- — get shots in people’s arms all around the world, expand access to treatment, and save lives everywhere.
We can do this. We can control COVID-19. We can start to build a better, healthier, and more secure future today if we all do our part and if we step up together.
So thank you for responding to this fight. And most especially, thank you for all the doctors, nurses, and community health workers, and scientists, and aid workers, and anyone and everyone on the frontlines fighting this pandemic, saving lives every single day. We owe you.
Thank you. And God bless you all.