French President Emmanuel Macron attends an international videoconference on vaccination from the Elysee Palace in Paris during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in France, Monday, May 4.
Macron said he is confident that the United States will join a global pledge for research to find a vaccine against the coronavirus.
World leaders, organizations and banks Monday pledged to give $8 billion during the videoconference summit hosted by the European Union. Organizers included the European Union and non-EU countries Britain, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Leaders from Japan, Canada, South Africa and dozens of other countries joined the virtual event, while China, where the virus is believed to have originated, was only represented by its ambassador to the European Union. The U.S., along with Russia, were notably absent from the event.
Macron, who donated 500 million euros (about $545 million) on behalf of France, noted that the U.S. is “on the sidelines” but added that it doesn’t compromise or slow down the initiative.
He said he discussed the issue with President Donald Trump and is convinced that the U.S. will at some point join the initiative, consisting in finding a vaccine as quickly as possible and making it available to all countries.
People in many countries across the globe, and notably in Europe this week, are cautiously returning to work. But authorities remain wary of a second wave of infections, and a vaccine is the only real golden bullet to allow something like normal life to resume.
There are more than 3.6 million global cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and more than 250,000 deaths. (VOA/Reuters/AP)