WHO Member States Agree On Draft Resolution For COVID-19 Response – Overriding US Objections to ‘Equitable Access’
Elaine Ruth Fletcher, 14 May 2020
World Health Organization member states reached initial agreement today on a European Union-led draft resolution on global COVID-19 response to the upcoming World Health Assembly – overriding US objections to language that referred to “universal, timely and equitable access” to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.
The draft resolution to be submitted to the upcoming World Health Assembly Monday, May 18, would help pave the way for coordinated planning by the global health community to ensure wide and equitable access by people worldwide to COVID-19 medicines and vaccines, according the draft obtained by Health Policy Watch.
As of Sunday 17th May the draft Resolution had over 100 co-sponsors
Here is the statement that the United States delegate delivered today, 18th May
United States of America WHA73PlenaryStatementAs delivered byAlex M. Azar, IIU.S.SecretaryOf Health and Human ServicesDirector-General Tedros, fellow ministers, COVID-19 has tragically taken hundreds of thousands of lives, impacted millions of people, and done deepdamage to the world economy. We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control: There was afailureby this organizationto obtainthe informationthat the world needed, and thatfailure cost many lives.The United States welcomesthe assistance provided by our friendsduring this crisis, and we have been proud to allocateover $9 billionthat will benefittheglobal COVID-19response, including more than half a billiondollarsin planned investmentsby my ministry to support more than 40 of the most at-risk countries.The United Stateslaunchedthe world’s first human vaccine trial and reportedthe first positive results from atherapeuticclinical trial. These successes and the transparent way in which we share them will benefit the whole world.WHO’s operations must be transparent too, and we support an independent review of every aspect of WHO’s response to the pandemic.We all mustcome together to ensure thatWHO fulfills its key mandate,and that member states comply withthe InternationalHealth Regulations. In an apparent attemptto conceal this outbreak, at least one member state made a mockery of theirtransparencyobligations,with tremendous costs for the entire world. We saw that WHO failedat its core mission of information sharing and transparency when member states do notact in good faith. This cannot ever happen again. The status quo is intolerable. WHO must change, and itmust become far more transparentandfar more accountable It isalsocritical thatTaiwan participate as an observerat the WHA, to bringthehelpful perspective regarding their effective and exemplary response.WHO barred Taiwan from participation in 2016 just a few months afterTaiwan’sfree and fair elections. Thehealth of 23 million Taiwanese people should never be sacrificed to send a political message.Although we are all focused on the immediate response, we need a more effective WHO right now to help win this fight anddemonstrate to our citizens that we are workingto prevent such catastrophes in the future.The United States sends our best wishes and open offerof cooperationto each of you in our shared efforts to defeat this pandemic and protect the health of each nation around the world.