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U.S. VP Harris to announce $10 billion global fund to prepare for future pandemics By Reuters

© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: U.S. vice president Kamala Harris makes remarks as she unveils a report on the U.S. economy and childcare at the Treasury Department in Washington. September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday will call on countries and companies around the world to create a $10 billion global health fund to prepare for future pandemics, and announce a $250 million contribution from the United States to jumpstart the effort, a White House official said.

Harris will be making the announcement at the virtual COVID-19 summit, taking place in the U.N. General Assembly. The summit is designed to increase vaccination rates worldwide and help achieve the COVID-19 panademic goal by 2022.

According to a senior official in the administration, Harris will chair a session on how to prevent future pandemics.

Earlier on Wednesday, the United States promised to buy 500 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses to donate to other countries as it faces increasing pressure to share its supply with the rest of the world.

The United States was also criticized for its plans to give booster shots to fully vaccinated Americans when millions of others around the world do not have the necessary vaccines. Others countries, including Israel and the UK have also started booster shots campaigns.

A new Global Health Security Financial Intermediary Fund (World Bank) will be set up to coordinate resources in support of pandemic preparedness.

To build upon the $630million in funding for fiscal 2021, the Biden administration will request $850 million additional from Congress.

Harris’ leadership has been “very specific” in preparing for the next epidemic, a senior administration official stated.

According to the official, Harris “has made clear that she does not believe we’re ready for the next epidemic.” He added that to prepare we have to increase resources and create an early warning structure.

Harris said that she will call for countries to establish a global threat council to raise biological threats to heads of states to ensure accountability between nations. 

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.