Harris announces $250 million in global funding to fight future pandemics.

While President Biden gathered with heads of state for a Covid-19 summit, Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday announced that the United States will contribute at least $250 million to a new global health security fund that the administration hopes will raise $10 billion to fight future pandemics.

Declaring the coronavirus pandemic a “stark warning” for an increasingly interconnected world, Ms. Harris called for international unity to address a lack of funding for pandemic preparedness highlighted by the flaws in the global response to Covid-19. The collective goal of $10 billion would be spent on a range of issues, like disease surveillance, vaccine development and health care worker support, in order to counter future biological threats.

“We need to act so that our world will be ready to respond before and not after the next pandemic emerges,” Ms. Harris said, adding that the Biden administration has asked Congress for an additional $850 million for the new fund.

Perhaps recognizing the political challenges that obtaining such funding would face from U.S. lawmakers, Ms. Harris said the administration supports the creation of a “global health threats council” to ensure transparency and accountability for all nations that commit to financing the fund.

The announcement comes as the Biden administration and U.S. drug companies are under growing pressure to address the global Covid-19 vaccine shortage. As part of the administration’s efforts, Mr. Biden also announced on Wednesday a new partnership with the European Union aimed at expanding access to vaccines.

In a statement detailing a joint strategy with the United States to have 70 percent of the global population vaccinated by next September, the European Union said it would donate 500 million coronavirus vaccine doses and ramp up coordination efforts with its American counterparts to deliver and administer them. The European Union has pledged to donate 200 million doses by the end of 2021, but its member countries had only donated 21 million doses as of early September, according to official figures.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive arm, has named global vaccination the bloc’s most urgent priority for the year ahead: “The scale of injustice and the level of urgency are obvious,” Ms. von der Leyen said in a speech on the state of the union last week.

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