Senior administration officials met today with European Commission counterparts on progress and next steps towards achieving the U.S.-EU Agenda for Beating the Global Pandemic Vaccinating the World, Saving Lives Now, and Building Back Better Health Security. Led by Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer and President Ursula von der Leyen’s Head of Cabinet Bjoern Seibert, both sides agreed on the importance of the transatlantic partnership and leadership to beat the pandemic, strengthen the supply chain, and strengthen global health security in the long term.
Following a briefing on the Omicron variant and recent developments by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Special Advisor to the President of the European Commission Dr. Peter Piot, the two sides discussed a number of areas including: ongoing efforts to donate and deliver more than a 1.9 billion vaccine doses around the world; accelerating efforts to get shots into arms, including assistance to countries in need; coordinating initiatives to boost global production of COVID-19 vaccines and critical supplies; and cooperating on joint health threat assessments and R&D, and more. The two delegations reiterated their call for stronger actions and commitments from nations around the world in this effort.
The delegations also underscored that bold action is needed to prepare for future health emergencies and pandemics. Both sides agreed on the importance of establishing a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for global health security and pandemic preparedness in early 2022 with sustainable capitalization, and noted the United States and European Union will work with the G7, the G20, low and lower-middle income countries, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and additional organizations to accomplish this goal.