Senior European Commission officials met last week with senior White House and other U.S. government officials on progress and next steps towards achieving the US-EU Agenda for Beating the Global Pandemic Vaccinating the World, Saving Lives Now, and Building Back Better Health Security. Led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Head of Cabinet Björn Seibert, and US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, both sides agreed on the importance of the Transatlantic partnership and leadership to end the pandemic and strengthen global health security in the long term.
Following a briefing on the Omicron variant and recent developments by the Special Advisor to the President of the European Commission Dr. Piot, the US Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Fauci, the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control Dr. Walensky, the two sides discussed a number of areas including: ongoing efforts to donate and deliver more than 1.7 billion vaccine doses around the world by mid-2022; accelerating efforts to get shots into arms, including assistance to countries in need; and other areas such as cooperating on COVID-19 supply chains, joint health threat assessments and R&D and more. The two delegations reiterated their call for stronger actions and commitments from nations around the world in this effort.
The delegations also underscored that bold action is needed to prepare for the next pandemic. Both sides agreed on the importance a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for global health security and pandemic preparedness with sustainable capitalization, and noted we will work with the EU member states, the G20, lower-middle income countries, World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), and additional organisations to accomplish this goal.