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People's Daily Online

U.S. rejects global cooperation in vaccine project

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:47, September 03, 2020

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The United States will not join global efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop, manufacture and equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines, the Trump administration said Tuesday.

More than 170 countries are in talks to participate in COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, a global initiative working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries with access to safe and effective vaccines.

However, White House spokesman Judd Deere said on Tuesday that the United States will not participate because of the involvement of WHO, and "will not be constrained by multilateral organizations".

"A shortsighted decision by the Admin that will further hamper our ability to end this pandemic," Ami Bera, a doctor and member of Congress, tweeted Wednesday, adding that this go-it-alone approach leaves the country at risk of getting no vaccine.

Medical experts worry that even if the United States is able to first develop and distribute a mostly-effective vaccine to its own residents, many Americans could still be left vulnerable to imported infections if other countries do not have access.

The United States decided to suspend funding to WHO in April, damaging WHO's capacity and the international cooperation in fighting the pandemic.

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