European Leaders Unite Against COVID-19

European leaders are establishing an international medical organization to mount a united battle against the coronavirus.In their announcement in The Independent, a British newspaper, they said they are following in the footsteps of “Louis Pasteur, one of the world’s greatest scientists and a mastermind behind vaccines and breakthroughs which have saved millions of lives spanning three centuries.”“Our aim is simple,” the group said, about its goal of raising $8 billion Monday in an online pledging campaign to finance finding a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment.The leaders listed as being responsible for The Independent article are: Giuseppe Conte, prime minister of Italy; Emmanuel Macron, president of France; Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany; Charles Michel, president of the European Council; Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway; and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.“We will all put our own pledges on the table and we are glad to be joined by partners from the world over,” they said. “We support the WHO and we are delighted to join forces with experienced organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.”U.S. President Donald Trump has suspended payments to the World Health Organization, saying that WHO did not act swiftly enough in alerting the world about the deadly virus.The European leaders said, “Every single euro or dollar that we raise together will be channeled primarily through recognized global health organizations such as CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance, the Global Fund and Unitaid into developing and deploying as quickly as possible, for as many as possible the diagnostics, treatments and vaccines that will help the world overcome the pandemic.”“If we can develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world, this will be a unique global public good of the 21st century,” the alliance said. “Together with our partners, we commit to making it available, accessible and affordable to all.”There are more than 3.4 million global cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and nearly 244,000 deaths.

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