COVID-19 is a global challenge that requires a global response.
The Biden-Harris Administration engages internationally to combat COVID-19, promote public health, and advance global health security. At the U.S. Department of State, we save lives, promote economic recovery, and build better resilience against future biological threats through:
U.S. Leadership in Global Health
The United States is committed to leading the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reengaged the WHO; committed to researching, developing, and supporting global distribution of safe and effective vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics; and engaged international partners to facilitate expanded international manufacturing of vaccines.
As President Biden has made clear, the United States supports multilateral approaches and will work as a partner to address global challenges. It is a Biden-Harris Administration priority to combat this pandemic and to help America and the global community build back better prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats.
None of us face this threat alone, which is why the United States—through USAID—is leading the world as the largest single donor to Gavi, the vaccine alliance, in support of COVAX. The U.S. government made an initial $2 billion contribution to Gavi in March 2021 and plans to contribute an additional $2 billion to Gavi through 2022. On April 15, 2021, the United States co-hosted with Gavi the “One World Protected” virtual pledge event, which raised nearly $400 million in new commitments in support of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment. These new resources will support additional procurement and equitable distribution of WHO-authorized, safe and effective vaccines to low and middle-income countries.
Additionally, under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the U.S. government is spending nearly $11 billion in foreign assistance to fight COVID-19, address secondary impacts of the pandemic, and strengthen the global health security architecture.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the technical expertise, critical infrastructure, and whole-of-government approach created through Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) partnerships have bolstered preparedness to rapidly respond to COVID-19 in partner countries.
Multilateral Approach to Beating the Pandemic
As President Biden has made clear, the United States supports multilateral approaches and will work as a partner to address global challenges. This is a global challenge that requires a global response.
Through the UK-led G7, we will join forces to beat COVID-19 and build back better. Drawing on our strengths and values as democratic and open economies and societies, we will work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point and to shape a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and planet.
In working to strengthen the WHO and support its leading and coordinating role, we will:
- accelerate global vaccine development and deployment;
- work with industry to increase manufacturing capacity, including through voluntary licensing;
- improve information, data, and sample sharing, including sequencing new variants;
- promote transparent and responsible practices; and
- bolster vaccine confidence.
We reaffirm our support for all pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), its COVAX facility, and affordable and equitable global access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
Italy and The European Commission will cohost a G-20 Global Health Summit on May 21. The Summit is an opportunity for G20 and invited leaders, heads of international and regional organizations, and representatives of global health bodies to share lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and develop and endorse a ‘Rome Declaration’ of principles to guide future action. The Summit will build on other health initiatives and processes, including those taking place in the G7.
Safe and Effective Vaccines
Getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, and your community healthy and safe. Vaccines will help bring this pandemic to an end, let us resume our normal lives, and reopen the economy.
The United States and our partners adhere to internationally accepted scientific standards for stringency and transparency in clinical trials, which are critical for maintaining public trust in the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
The U.S. government continues to monitor vaccine safety and efficacy even after vaccines are authorized for use by our Food and Drug Administration. We encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) and all foreign governments to rigorously assess all vaccines for safety, efficacy, and good manufacturing practices before, during, and after deployment.
U.S. COVID-19 Response: Strengthening Global Supply Chains
President Biden is determined to help the global health system build back better. The United States is committed to working with partners in the private sector and with foreign governments to strengthen a diversified and resilient global supply chain, improve key global manufacturing capacities, and close global gaps in the availability and distribution of vaccines, therapeutics, testing, and PPE.
Much of this work is guided by a series of Executive Orders and National Security Memorandum 1, released in the opening weeks of the Biden-Harris Administration, to provide U.S. leadership on global health and security.
Long-term Global Health Security Infrastructure Improvement and Reforms
Advancing global health security and disease outbreak preparedness is vital not only to protect health and safety, but also to ensure economic prosperity and defend national security interests. As we have seen, when people become sick from an infectious disease, the cost can be measured in lives and suffering, but also in impacts to people’s livelihoods and economic security.
We are committed to strengthening global health security so that the world may build back better in order to prevent, detect, and respond to the next infectious disease outbreak.
As a founding member of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) in 2014, the United States has invested in training and programs to strengthen countries’ public health infrastructure.
Our commitment to global health builds on a long tradition. Over the past two decades, the United States has provided more than $140 billion in global health assistance. We are the world’s largest contributor to global health and the international response to COVID-19. Our assistance also addresses the humanitarian, economic, and social impacts of COVID-19.
Longstanding health partnerships and investments—including through the Global Health Security Agenda, President’s Malaria Initiative, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi)—have provided the technical assistance to support broader country readiness and vaccine service delivery needed to bolster preparedness, rapidly respond to COVID-19, and save lives.
We are also evaluating mechanisms that will leverage the current international political will to meaningfully and urgently improve global health security infrastructure to prevent, detect, and respond to future public health threats to include:
- strengthening the WHO;
- improving International Health Regulations implementation; and
- engaging with international partners and the private sector to distribute vaccines and determine appropriate approaches for safe travel and trade.