In view of increasing cases and hospitalisation driven by the virulent Delta strain and vaccine hesitancy, US President Joe Biden is expected to call for a global summit on Covid-19 as part of a broad plan he will reveal in a speech on Thursday to rest his administration’s floundering response to the epidemic.
The summit will specialise in the worldwide Covid-19 response and vaccination distribution efforts and is probably going to be persisted the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) meetings in the week of September 20, The Washington Post reported citing unidentified people familiar with the planning.
That will be the week Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in the United States for a meeting with Biden on September 23 – their first in-person encounter – and then an address to the UN general assembly on September 25, as reported by this newspaper before.
The US has been a part of a multilateral effort along with its Quad partners India, Japan and Australia to produce 1 billion doses of vaccines for distribution in the India-Pacific region. It has independently supplied millions of doses of vaccines from its stockpile to countries around the world either directly or through the WHO-led Covax programme.
“We are still planning the president’s schedule around UN General Assembly High Level week, but it’s safe to assume we are actively watching Covid-19 and public-health-centered options,” a senior administration official told The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity. “I would anticipate there’ll be a chance for the president to interact together with his counterparts on this issue during the UNGA week.”
The Joe Biden administration is trying to get a grip on the response to the pandemic, which has come unstuck in recent weeks belying the president’s key election promise of doing a far better job of it than his predecessor.
Due to the highly contagious Delta Variant and people hesitancy towards vaccination new infections and hospitalisation cases are increasing, other than that there are other reasons too like politics or over suspicions about the efficacy of vaccines and their long-term side-effects.