US Will Not Be Taking Part in WHO Covid-19 Vaccine Initiative

World leaders have pledged to accelerate the development, production and distribution of drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus, but the United States will not be taking part.

A spokesman for the U.S. mission in Geneva told Reuters “there will be no US official participation” in the programme which aims to speed the development of a vaccine and share resources in the fight against the covid-19.

He said: “We look forward to learning more about this initiative in support of international cooperation to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as possible.”

The Independent reports: The nation’s withdrawal from collaborative international efforts in the wake of the pandemic follows Donald Trump’s announcement that the US would suspend funding to the WHO after he accused the United Nations agency of “covering up” the coronavirus outbreak from China.

He attacked the organisation as he faced similar criticisms after reports showed that he had dismissed or ignored warnings about the threat of the outbreak from his administration for several weeks.

A global initiative to accelerate the development of a potential vaccine was launched by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among other world leaders, on Friday.

President Macron told the meeting that the group hopes to “reconcile around this joint initiative both China and the US, because this is about saying the fight against Covid-19 is a common human good and there should be no division in order to win this battle.”

The group has pledged to provide access to treatment and vaccines to other nations, commit to the international partnership and share research efforts and make informed group decisions about their response.